Otis Redding
Otis Redding

Otis Ray Redding Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer and songwriter. He’s thought of one of many biggest singers within the historical past of American common music and a seminal artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. Nicknamed the “King of Soul”, Redding’s type of singing gained inspiration from the gospel music that preceded the style. His singing type influenced many different soul artists of the Sixties.

Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia, and at age two, moved to Macon. Redding stop college at age 15 to help his household, working with Little Richard’s backing band, the Upsetters, and by performing in expertise reveals on the historic Douglass Theatre in Macon. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins’s band, the Pinetoppers, with whom he toured the Southern states as a singer and driver. An unscheduled look on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first hit single, “These Arms of Mine”, in 1962.

Stax launched Redding’s debut album, Ache in My Coronary heart, two years later. Initially common primarily with African-Individuals, Redding later reached a wider American pop music viewers. Alongside together with his group, he first performed small reveals within the American South. Redding later carried out on the common Los Angeles evening membership Whisky a Go Go and toured Europe, performing in London, Paris and different main cities. He additionally carried out on the Monterey Pop Competition in 1967.

Shortly earlier than his demise in a airplane crash, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The music turned the primary posthumous number-one document on each the Billboard Sizzling 100 and R&B charts. The album The Dock of the Bay was the primary posthumous album to achieve primary on the UK Albums Chart. Redding’s untimely demise devastated Stax. Already on the verge of chapter, the label quickly found that the Atco division of Atlantic Data owned the rights to his whole music catalog.

Redding obtained many posthumous accolades, together with two Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame, the Black Music & Leisure Stroll of Fame.[3] and the Songwriters Corridor of Fame. Along with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Attempt a Little Tenderness” are amongst his best-known songs.


Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia, the fourth of six kids, and the primary son of Otis Redding Sr. and Fannie Roseman. Redding Sr. was a sharecropper after which labored at Robins Air Pressure Base, close to Macon, and infrequently preached in native church buildings. When Redding was three, the household moved to Tindall Heights, a predominantly African-American public housing undertaking in Macon.[4] At an early age, he sang within the Vineville Baptist Church choir and discovered guitar and piano. From age 10, Redding took drum and singing classes. At Ballard-Hudson Excessive College, he sang within the college band. Each Sunday he earned $6 by performing gospel songs for Macon radio station WIBB,[5][6] and he received the $5 prize in a teen expertise present for 15 consecutive weeks.[7] His ardour was singing, and he typically cited Little Richard and Sam Cooke as influences. Redding stated that he “wouldn’t be right here” with out Little Richard and that he “entered the music enterprise due to Richard – he’s my inspiration. I used to sing like Little Richard, his rock ‘n’ roll stuff … My current music has lots of him in it.”[8][9]

At age 15, Redding left college to assist financially help his household; his father had contracted tuberculosis and was typically hospitalized, leaving his mom because the household’s main revenue earner.[4] He labored as a effectively digger, as a gasoline station attendant and infrequently as a musician. Pianist Gladys Williams, a regionally well-known musician in Macon and one other who impressed Redding, typically carried out on the Hillview Springs Social Membership, and Redding generally performed piano together with her band there.[10] Williams hosted Sunday expertise reveals, which Redding attended with two mates, singers Little Willie Jones and Eddie Ross.[11]

Redding’s breakthrough got here in 1958 on disc jockey Hamp Swain’s “The Teenage Occasion,” a expertise contest on the native Roxy and Douglass Theatres.[12][6] Johnny Jenkins, a regionally distinguished guitarist, was within the viewers and, discovering Redding’s backing band missing in musical expertise, provided to accompany him. Redding sang Little Richard’s “Heebie Jeebies.” The mixture enabled Redding to win Swain’s expertise contest for fifteen consecutive weeks; the money prize was $5 (US$45 in 2020 {dollars}[13]).[14] Jenkins later labored as lead guitarist and performed with Redding throughout a number of later gigs.[15] Redding was quickly invited to interchange Willie Jones as frontman of Pat T. Cake and the Mighty Panthers, that includes Johnny Jenkins.[11] Redding was then employed by the Upsetters when Little Richard deserted rock and roll in favor of gospel music. Redding was effectively paid, making about $25 per gig (US$224 in 2020 {dollars}[13]),[4][5] however didn’t keep lengthy.[16] In mid-1960, Otis moved to Los Angeles together with his sister, Deborah, whereas his spouse Zelma and their kids stayed in Macon, Georgia.[17] In Los Angeles Redding recorded his first songs, together with “Tuff Enuff” written by James McEachin, “She’s All Proper,” written with McEachin, and two Redding wrote alone, known as “I am Gettin’ Hip” and “Gamma Lamma” (which he recorded as a single in 1961, beneath the title “Shout Bamalama”).[5]


Early profession

A member of Pat T. Cake and the Mighty Panthers, Redding toured the Southern United States on the Chitlin’ Circuit, a string of venues that had been hospitable to African-American entertainers throughout the period of racial segregation, which lasted into the early Sixties.[18] Johnny Jenkins left the band to develop into the featured artist with the Pinetoppers.[19] Round this time, Redding met Phil Walden, the long run founding father of the recording firm Phil Walden and Associates, and later Bobby Smith, who ran the small label Accomplice Data. He signed with Accomplice and recorded a single, “Shout Bamalama” (a rewrite of “Gamma Lamma”) and “Fats Woman”, collectively together with his band Otis and the Shooters.[5][20] Round this time he and the Pinetoppers attended a “Battle of the Bands” present in Lakeside Park.[21] Wayne Cochran, the one solo artist signed to Accomplice, turned the Pinetoppers’ bassist.[19]

When Walden began to search for a document label for Jenkins, Atlantic Data consultant Joe Galkin confirmed curiosity and round 1962 despatched him to the Stax studio in Memphis. Redding drove Jenkins to the session, because the latter didn’t have a driver’s license.[22] The session with Jenkins, backed by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, was unproductive and ended early; Redding was allowed to carry out two songs. The primary was “Hey Hey Child”, which studio chief Jim Stewart thought sounded an excessive amount of like Little Richard. The second was “These Arms of Mine”, that includes Jenkins on guitar and Steve Cropper on piano. Stewart later praised Redding’s efficiency, saying, “All people was fixin’ to go residence, however Joe Galkin insisted we give Otis a hear. There was one thing totally different about [the ballad]. He actually poured his soul into it.”[23][24] Stewart signed Redding and launched “These Arms of Mine”, with “Hey Hey Child” on the B-side. The only was launched by Volt in October 1962 and charted in March the next 12 months.[25] It turned considered one of his most profitable songs, promoting greater than 800,000 copies.[26]

Apollo Theater and Otis Blue

“These Arms of Mine” and different songs from the 1962–1963 periods had been included on Redding’s debut album, Ache in My Coronary heart. “That is What My Coronary heart Wants” and “Mary’s Little Lamb” had been recorded in June 1963. The latter is the one Redding observe with each background singing and brass. It turned his worst-selling single.[25][27] The title observe, recorded in September 1963, sparked copyright points, because it gave the impression of Irma Thomas’s “Ruler of My Coronary heart”.[25] Regardless of this, Ache in My Coronary heart was launched on March 1964,[28][29] with the only peaking at quantity 11 on the R&B chart, quantity 61 on the Billboard Sizzling 100, and the album at quantity 103 on the Billboard 200.[30]

In November 1963, Redding, accompanied by his brother Rodgers and an affiliate, former boxer Sylvester Huckaby (a childhood buddy of Redding’s), traveled to New York to carry out on the Apollo Theater for the recording of a dwell album for Atlantic Data. Redding and his band had been paid $400 per week (US$3,381 in 2020 {dollars}[13]) however needed to pay $450 (US$3,804 in 2020 {dollars}[13]) for sheet music for the home band, led by King Curtis, which left them in monetary issue. The trio requested Walden for cash. Huckaby’s description of their circumstances dwelling within the “large outdated raggedy” Lodge Theresa is quoted by Peter Guralnick in his e book Candy Soul Music. He famous assembly Muhammad Ali and different celebrities. Ben E. King, who was the headliner on the Apollo when Redding carried out there, gave him $100 (US$845 in 2020 {dollars}[13]) when he discovered about Redding’s monetary state of affairs. The ensuing album featured King, the Coasters, Doris Troy, Rufus Thomas, the Falcons and Redding.[31] Round this time Walden and Rodgers had been drafted by the military; Walden’s youthful brother Alan joined Redding on tour, whereas Earl “Speedo” Simms changed Rodgers as Redding’s street supervisor.[32]

Most of Redding’s songs after “Safety”, from his first album, had a gradual tempo. Disc jockey A. C. Moohah Williams accordingly labeled him “Mr. Pitiful”,[33] and subsequently, Cropper and Redding wrote the eponymous music.[23] That and prime 100 singles ” Chained and Certain”, “Come to Me” and “That is How Robust My Love Is”[34] had been included on Redding’s second studio album, The Nice Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, launched in March 1965.[35] Jenkins started working independently from the group out of concern Galkin, Walden and Cropper would plagiarize his enjoying type, and so Cropper turned Redding’s main guitarist.[36] Round 1965, Redding co-wrote “I’ve Been Loving You Too Lengthy” with Jerry Butler, the previous lead singer of the Impressions. That summer season, Redding and the studio crew organized new songs for his subsequent album. Ten of the eleven songs had been recorded in a 24-hour interval on July 9 and 10 in Memphis. Two songs, “Ole Man Hassle” and “Respect”, had been completed earlier, throughout the Otis Blue session. “Respect” and “I’ve Been Loving You” had been later recut in stereo. The album, entitled Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, was launched in September 1965.[37] Otis Blue additionally contains Redding’s much-loved cowl of “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1965.[38]

Whisky a Go Go and “Attempt a Little Tenderness”

Redding’s success allowed him to purchase a 300-acre (1.2 km2) ranch in Georgia, which he known as the “Huge O Ranch.”[41] Stax was additionally doing effectively. Walden signed extra musicians, together with Percy Sledge, Johnnie Taylor, Clarence Carter and Eddie Floyd, and along with Redding, they based two manufacturing corporations. “Jotis Data” (derived from Joe Galkin and Otis) launched 4 recordings, two by Arthur Conley and one by Billy Younger and Loretta Williams. The opposite was named Redwal Music (derived from Purpleding and Walden), which was shut down shortly after its creation.[42] Since Afro-Individuals nonetheless shaped nearly all of followers, Redding selected to carry out at Whisky a Go Go on the Sundown Strip in Los Angeles. Redding was one of many first soul artists to carry out for rock audiences within the western United States. His efficiency obtained vital acclaim, together with optimistic press within the Los Angeles Occasions, and he penetrated mainstream common tradition. Bob Dylan attended the efficiency and provided Redding an altered model of considered one of his songs, “Simply Like a Lady”.[23]

In late 1966, Redding returned to the Stax studio and recorded a number of tracks, together with “Attempt a Little Tenderness”, written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods in 1932.[39] This music had beforehand been recorded by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and the publishers unsuccessfully tried to cease Redding from recording the music from a “negro perspective”. At the moment typically thought of his signature music,[43] Jim Stewart reckoned, “If there’s one music, one efficiency that basically type of sums up Otis and what he is about, it is ‘Attempt a Little Tenderness’. That one efficiency is so particular and so distinctive that it expresses who he’s.” On this model Redding was backed by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, whereas employees producer Isaac Hayes labored on the association.[44][45] “Attempt a Little Tenderness” was included on his subsequent album, Full & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul. The music and the album had been critically and commercially profitable—the previous peaked at quantity 25 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 chart and at quantity 4 on the R&B chart.[46]

The spring of 1966 marked the primary time that Stax booked live shows for its artists.[47] Nearly all of the group arrived in London on March 13,[45][48] however Redding had flown in days earlier for interviews, reminiscent of at “The Eamonn Andrews Present”. When the crew arrived in London, The Beatles despatched a limousine to choose them up.[47] Reserving agent Invoice Graham proposed that Redding play on the Fillmore Auditorium in late 1966. The gig was commercially and critically profitable, paying Redding round $800 to $1000 (US$7,976 in 2020 {dollars}[13]) an evening.[49][45] It prompted Graham to comment afterward, “That was the perfect gig I ever placed on in my whole life.”[50] Redding started touring Europe six months later.[51]

Carla Thomas

In March 1967, Stax launched King & Queen, an album of duets between Redding and Carla Thomas, which turned a licensed gold document. It was Jim Stewart’s thought to provide a duet album, as he anticipated that “[Redding’s] rawness and [Thomas’s] sophistication would work”.[52] The album was recorded in January 1967, whereas Thomas was incomes her M.A. in English at Howard College. Six out of ten songs had been reduce throughout their joint session; the remainder had been overdubbed by Redding within the days following, due to his live performance obligations. Three singles had been lifted from the album: “Tramp” was launched in April, adopted by “Knock on Wooden” and “Lovey Dovey”. All three reached a minimum of the highest 60 on each the R&B and Pop charts.[52] The album charted at quantity 5 and 36 on the Billboard Pop and R&B charts, respectively.[34]

Redding returned to Europe to carry out on the Paris Olympia. The dwell album Otis Redding: Dwell in Europe was launched three months later, that includes this and different dwell performances in London and Stockholm, Sweden.[41] His resolution to take his protege Conley (whom Redding and Walden had contracted on to Atco/Atlantic Data quite than to Stax/Volt) on the tour, as a substitute of extra established Stax/Volt artists reminiscent of Rufus Thomas and William Bell, produced unfavorable reactions.[45][53]

Monterey Pop

In 1967, Redding carried out on the influential Monterey Pop Competition because the closing act on Saturday evening, the second day of the competition. He was invited via the efforts of promoter Jerry Wexler.[54] Till that time, Redding was nonetheless performing primarily for black audiences.[55] On the time, he “had not been thought of a commercially viable participant within the mainstream white American market.”[56] However after delivering probably the most electrical performances of the evening, and having been the act to most contain the viewers, “his efficiency at Monterey Pop was subsequently a pure development from native to nationwide acclaim,…the decisive turning-point in Otis Redding’s profession.”[56] His act included his personal music “Respect” and a model of The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”[57] Redding and his backing band (Booker T. & the M.G.’s with the Mar-Keys horn part) opened with Cooke’s “Shake”, after which he delivered an impromptu speech, asking the viewers in the event that they had been the “love crowd”[58] and searching for a giant response. The ballad “I’ve Been Loving You” adopted. The final music was “Attempt a Little Tenderness”, together with an extra refrain. “I received to go, y’all, I do not wanna go”, stated Redding and left the stage of his final main live performance.[43] In response to Booker T. Jones, “I feel we did considered one of our greatest reveals, Otis and the MG’s. That we had been included in that was additionally one thing of a phenomenon. That we had been there? With these individuals? They had been accepting us and that was one of many issues that basically moved Otis. He was completely satisfied to be included and it introduced him a brand new viewers. It was tremendously expanded in Monterey.”[59] In response to Candy Soul Music, musicians reminiscent of Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix had been captivated by his efficiency; Robert Christgau wrote in Esquire, “The Love Crowd screamed one’s thoughts to the heavens.”[60]

Earlier than Monterey, Redding wished to document with Conley, however Stax was towards the concept. The 2 moved from Memphis to Macon to proceed writing. The end result was “Candy Soul Music” (primarily based on Cooke’s “Yeah Man”),[42] which peaked at quantity 2 on the Billboard Sizzling 100.[61][62] By that point, Redding had developed polyps on his larynx, which he tried to deal with with tea and lemon or honey. He was hospitalized in September 1967 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to bear surgical procedure.[63]

“Dock of the Bay”

In early December 1967, Redding once more recorded at Stax. One new music was “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, which was written with Cropper.[64] Redding was impressed by The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band and tried to create an analogous sound, towards the label’s needs. His spouse Zelma disliked its atypical melody. The Stax crew had been additionally dissatisfied with the brand new sound; Stewart thought that it was not R&B, whereas bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn feared it will injury Stax’s repute. Nevertheless, Redding wished to develop his musical type and thought it was his finest music, accurately believing it will prime the charts.[65] He whistled on the finish, both forgetting Cropper’s “fadeout rap” or paraphrasing it deliberately.[66]

Private life and wealth

Redding, who was 6 toes 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 220 kilos (100 kg), was an athletic household man who liked soccer and searching.[67][68] He was described as vigorous, reliable,[69] stuffed with enjoyable[70] and a profitable businessman. He was energetic in philanthropic tasks. His eager curiosity in black youth led to plans for a summer season camp for deprived kids.[71]

Marriage and youngsters

At age 18, Redding met 15-year-old Zelma Atwood at “The Teenage Occasion.” Roughly one 12 months later, she gave beginning to their son Dexter in the summertime of 1960 and married Redding in August 1961.[23] In mid-1960, Otis moved to Los Angeles together with his sister, Deborah, whereas Zelma and the kids stayed in Macon, Georgia.[17]

Redding and his spouse had 4 kids: Dexter, Demetria, Karla, and Otis III.[72] Otis, Dexter, and cousin Mark Lockett later based the Reddings, a band managed by Zelma.[73] She additionally maintained or labored on the janitorial service Maids Over Macon, a number of nightclubs, and reserving businesses.[74]


Redding’s music made him rich. In response to a number of ads, he had round 200 fits and 400 pairs of footwear, and he earned about $35,000 per week for his live shows.[75] He spent about $125,000 within the “Huge O Ranch.” Because the proprietor of Otis Redding Enterprises, his performances, music publishing ventures and royalties from document gross sales earned him greater than one million {dollars} in 1967 alone.[76] That 12 months, one columnist stated, “he bought extra information than Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin mixed.”[77] After the discharge of Otis Blue, Redding turned a “catalogue” artist, that means his albums weren’t quick blockbusters, however quite bought steadily over time.[42]

Loss of life

By 1967, the band was touring to performances in Redding’s Beechcraft H18 airplane. On December 9, they appeared on the Upbeat tv present produced in Cleveland. They performed three live shows in two nights at a membership known as Leo’s On line casino.[61][78][79] After a cellphone name together with his spouse and youngsters, Redding’s subsequent cease was Madison, Wisconsin; the following day, Sunday, December 10, they had been to play on the Manufacturing unit nightclub, close to the College of Wisconsin.[80][78][81]

Though the climate was poor, with heavy rain and fog, and regardless of warnings, the airplane took off.[82][83] 4 miles (6.5 km) from their vacation spot at Truax Discipline in Madison, pilot Richard Fraser radioed for permission to land. Shortly thereafter, the airplane crashed into Lake Monona. Bar-Kays member Ben Cauley, the accident’s solely survivor,[61] was sleeping shortly earlier than the accident. He woke simply earlier than influence to see bandmate Phalon Jones look out a window and exclaim, “Oh, no!” Cauley stated the very last thing he remembered earlier than the crash was unbuckling his seat belt. He then discovered himself in frigid water, greedy a seat cushion to maintain afloat.[82][63] As a non-swimmer, he was unable to rescue the others.[84] The reason for the crash was by no means decided.[85] In addition to Redding, the opposite victims of the crash had been 4 members of the Bar-Kays—guitarist Jimmy King, tenor saxophonist Phalon Jones, organist Ronnie Caldwell, and drummer Carl Cunningham; their valet, Matthew Kelly; and the pilot Fraser.[82][86]

Redding’s physique was recovered the following day when the lake was searched.[87] The household postponed the funeral from December 15, to December 18, in order that extra may attend,[76] and the service passed off on the Metropolis Auditorium in Macon. Greater than 4,500 individuals got here to the funeral, overflowing the three,000-seat corridor. Redding was entombed at his ranch in Spherical Oak, about twenty miles (30 km) north of Macon.[88] Jerry Wexler delivered the eulogy.[89] Redding died simply three days after re-recording “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”,[90][61] and was survived by Zelma and 4 kids, Otis III, Dexter, Demetria, and Karla.[72] On November 8, 1987, a memorial plaque was positioned on the lakeside deck of the Madison conference heart, Monona Terrace.[91]

“Respect is one thing Otis achieved for himself in a means few individuals do. Otis sang ‘Respect after I come residence.’ And Otis has come residence.”

-Eulogy delivered by Jerry Wexler.[89]

Posthumous releases and proposed recordings and tv appearances

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was launched in January 1968. It turned Redding’s solely single to achieve primary on the Billboard Sizzling 100 and the primary posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart historical past.[92] It bought roughly 4 million copies worldwide and obtained greater than eight million airplays.[93][94] The album The Dock of the Bay was the primary posthumous album to achieve the highest spot on the UK Albums Chart.[95]

Shortly after Redding’s demise, Atlantic Data, distributor of the Stax/Volt releases, was bought by Warner Bros. Stax was required to renegotiate its distribution deal and was stunned to be taught that Atlantic truly owned the complete Stax/Volt catalog. Stax was unable to regain the rights to its recordings and severed its Atlantic relationship. Atlantic additionally held the rights to all unreleased Otis Redding masters.[96] It had sufficient materials for 3 studio albums—The Immortal Otis Redding (1968), Love Man (1969), and Inform the Fact (1970)—all issued on its Atco Data label.[96] Various profitable singles emerged from these LPs, amongst them “Amen” (1968), “Laborious to Deal with” (1968), “I’ve Received Goals to Keep in mind” (1968), “Love Man” (1969), and “Take a look at That Woman” (1969).[96] Singles had been additionally lifted from two dwell Atlantic-issued Redding albums, In Individual on the Whisky a Go Go, recorded in 1966 and issued in 1968 on Atco, and Historic Performances Recorded on the Monterey Worldwide Pop Competition, a Reprise Data launch that includes a number of the dwell performances on the competition by the Jimi Hendrix Expertise on aspect one and Redding on aspect two.[97]

Redding had a minimum of two tv appearances booked for 1968; one on The Ed Sullivan Present and the opposite on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

In September 2007, the primary official DVD anthology of Redding’s dwell performances was launched by Harmony Music Group, then house owners of the Stax catalog. Goals to Keep in mind: The Legacy of Otis Redding featured 16 full-length performances and 40 minutes of latest interviews documenting his life and profession.[98] On Could 18, 2010, Stax Data launched a two-disc recording of three full units from his Whisky a Go Go date in April 1966.[99] All seven units from his three-day residency on the venue had been launched as Dwell on the Whisky a Go Go: The Full Recordings in 2016,[100] a 6-CD field set that received a Grammy Award for Finest Album Notes.[101]

Carla Thomas claimed that the pair had deliberate to document one other duet album in December the identical 12 months, however Phil Walden denied this. Redding had proposed to document an album that includes reduce and rearranged songs in several tempos; for instance, ballads can be uptempo and vice versa.[52] One other suggestion was to document an album fully consisting of nation requirements.[102]

In 2011, Kanye West and Jay-Z launched “Otis” as a single off of their collaborative album, Watch the Throne.[103] Redding was credited as a function on the music. The music was produced by West who constructed it off of a pattern of Redding’s model of “Attempt a Little Tenderness”.



Early on Redding copied the rock and soul type of his function mannequin Little Richard. He was additionally influenced by soul musicians reminiscent of Sam Cooke, whose dwell album Sam Cooke on the Copa was a powerful affect,[69] however later explored different common genres. He studied the recordings of The Beatles and Bob Dylan. His music “Laborious to Deal with” has parts of rock and roll and influences of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.[104] Most of his songs had been categorized as Southern soul[105] and Memphis soul.[106]

His hallmark was his uncooked voice and talent to convey sturdy emotion. Richie Unterberger of Allmusic famous his “hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy preparations, an emotional means with each celebration tunes and aching ballads.”[107] Within the e book Rock and Roll: An Introduction, authors Michael Campbell and James Brody instructed that “Redding’s singing calls to thoughts a fervent black preacher. Particularly in up-tempo numbers, his singing is greater than impassioned speech however lower than singing with exact pitch.”[108] In response to the e book, “Redding finds a tough midpoint between impassioned oratory and standard singing. His supply overflows with emotion” in his music “I Cannot Flip You Free”.[108] Booker T. Jones described Redding’s singing as energetic and emotional however stated that his vocal vary was restricted, reaching neither low nor excessive notes.[109] Peter Buckley, in The Tough Information to Rock, describes his “gruff voice, which mixed Sam Cooke’s phrasing with a brawnier supply” and later instructed he “may testify like a hell-bent preacher, croon like a young lover or get down and soiled with a bluesy yawp”.[110]

Redding obtained recommendation from Rufus Thomas about his clumsy stage look. Jerry Wexler stated Redding “did not know the way to transfer“, and stood nonetheless, transferring solely his higher physique, though he acknowledged that Redding was effectively obtained by audiences for his sturdy message.[111] Guralnick described Redding’s painful vulnerability in Candy Soul Music, as a beautiful one for the viewers, however not for his mates and companions. His early shyness was well-known.[112]


In his early profession Redding principally lined songs from common artists, reminiscent of Richard, Cooke and Solomon Burke. Across the mid-Sixties he started writing his personal songs—at all times taking alongside his low-cost pink acoustic guitar—and generally requested for Stax members’ opinion of his lyrics. He typically labored on lyrics with different musicians, reminiscent of Simms, Rodgers, Huckaby, Phil Walden, and Cropper. Throughout his restoration from his throat operation, Redding wrote about 30 songs in two weeks.[67] Redding was the only real copyright holder on all of his songs.[113]

In “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” he deserted acquainted romantic themes for “unhappy, wistful introspections, amplified by unforgettable descending guitar riffs by Cropper”.[114] The web site of the Songwriters Corridor of Fame famous that the music “was a form of brooding, darkish voicing of despair, (‘I’ve received nothin’ to dwell for/Appear to be nothin’s gonna come my means’)” though “his music, basically, was exultant and joyful.” In response to journalist Ruth Robinson, creator of the liner notes for the 1993 field set, “It’s presently a revisionist idea to equate soul with the darker aspect of man’s musical expression, blues. That fanner of the flame of ‘Hassle’s received a maintain on me’ music, would possibly effectively be the daddy of the shape whether it is, the glorified exaltation present in church on any Sunday morning is its mom.” The Songwriters Corridor of Fame web site provides that “glorified exaltation certainly was an apt description of Otis Redding’s songwriting and singing type.”[115] Booker T. Jones in contrast Redding with Leonard Bernstein, stating, “He was the identical kind particular person. He was a pacesetter. He’d simply lead together with his arms and his physique and his fingers.”[112]

Redding favored brief and easy lyrics; when requested whether or not he supposed to cowl Dylan’s “Simply Like a Lady”, he responded that the lyrics contained “an excessive amount of textual content”.[69] Moreover, he said in an interview,

Principally, I like several music that continues to be easy and I really feel that is the system that makes “soul music” profitable. When any music kind turns into cluttered and/or sophisticated you lose the typical listener’s ear. There may be nothing extra lovely than a easy blues tune. There may be magnificence in simplicity whether or not you’re speaking about structure, artwork or music.[71]

Redding additionally authored his (generally tough) recordings’ horn preparations, buzzing to indicate the gamers what he had in thoughts. The recording of “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Unhappy Tune)” captures his behavior of buzzing with the horn part.[116]


“Otis Redding Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, statue in Gateway Park by Bradley Cooley and Bradley Cooley, Jr of Bronze By Cooley, 2003

Redding has been known as the “King of Soul”,[117] an honorific additionally given to Brown[118] and Cooke.[119][120][121] He stays one of many style’s most acknowledged artists. His lean and highly effective type exemplified the Stax sound;[110][122][123] he was stated to be “the guts and soul of Stax”,[124] whereas artists reminiscent of Al Jackson, Dunn and Cropper helped to develop its construction.[123] His open-throated singing,[122] the tremolo/vibrato, the manic, electrifying stage performances[125] and perceived honesty had been explicit hallmarks, together with using interjections (reminiscent of “gotta, gotta, gotta”), a few of which got here from Cooke.[69][124] Producer Stewart thought the “begging singing” was stress-induced and enhanced by Redding’s shyness.[112] His LP releases earned him recognition from music critic Robert Christgau as “considered one of soul’s few dependable long-form artists”; Christgau deems Otis Blue his “first nice album”,[126] and Mat Snow regards it as an early indication of the album period, during which the LP would overtake singles in business and creative significance.[127]

Together with soul and R&B, Redding’s contributions to rock music have been famous by music students, notably the “black rock” carried out by his contemporaries Wilson Pickett and Sly and the Household Stone.[128] “His musical palette, a cosmic alloy of gospel and blues, hammered right into a gritty however elegant template by each black and white musicians, reworked soul and rock and anchored essentially the most infectious native music America had heard for the reason that large bands”, wrote biographer Mark Ribowsky.[129] Artists from many genres have named Redding as a musical affect. George Harrison known as “Respect” an inspiration for “Drive My Automobile”.[130] The Rolling Stones additionally talked about Redding as a significant affect.[131][132] Different artists influenced by Redding embrace Led Zeppelin,[133][134] Grateful Useless,[135] Lynyrd Skynyrd,[136] the Doorways,[135] and nearly each soul and R&B musician from the early years, reminiscent of Al Inexperienced, Etta James,[41] William Bell,[135] Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Conley.[137] Janis Joplin was influenced by his singing type, in keeping with Sam Andrew, a guitarist in her band Huge Brother and the Holding Firm. She said that she discovered “to push a music as a substitute of simply sliding over it” after listening to Redding.[138]

The Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb wrote the music “To Love Any individual” for Redding to document. He liked it, and he was going to “reduce it”, as Barry put it, on his return from his last live performance. They devoted the music to his reminiscence.[139]

Awards and honors

After Redding’s demise, the Académie du Jazz in France named an award after him. The Prix Otis Redding is given to the perfect document launch within the discipline of R&B. Redding was the primary recipient of the award for The Otis Redding Story on Stax;[140] following winners of the award embrace Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, and Curtis Mayfield.[141][142] In 1968, the Nationwide Affiliation of Tv and Radio Announcers (NATRA) created the Otis Redding Award in his honor.[143]

Readers of the British music newspaper Melody Maker voted Redding the highest vocalist of 1967, superseding Elvis Presley, who had topped the checklist for the prior 10 years.[93][137][144]

Redding posthumously received two Grammy Awards for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” on the eleventh Annual Grammy Awards in 1969.[145] The Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame inducted Redding in 1989, declaring his title to be “synonymous with the time period soul music that arose out of the black expertise in America via the transmutation of gospel and rhythm and blues right into a type of funky, secular testifying.”[146] In 1988, he was inducted into the Georgia Music Corridor of Fame.[94] 5 years later, the US Put up Workplace issued a 29-cent commemorative postage stamp in his honor.[147] Redding was inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 1994,[115] and in 1999 he obtained the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[148] The Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame included three Redding recordings, “Shake”, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, and “Attempt a Little Tenderness”, on its checklist of “The five hundred Songs That Formed Rock and Roll”.[149]

American music journal Rolling Stone ranked Redding at quantity 21 on their checklist of the “100 Biggest Artists of All Time”[150] and eighth on their checklist of the “100 Biggest Singers of All Time”.[109] Q ranked Redding fourth amongst “100 Biggest Singers”, after solely Frank Sinatra, Franklin and Presley.[151]

5 of his albums, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, Goals to Keep in mind: The Otis Redding Anthology, The Dock of the Bay, Full & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul and Dwell in Europe, had been ranked by Rolling Stone on its checklist of the five hundred Biggest Albums of All Time. The primary album was singled out for reward by music critics; other than the Rolling Stone itemizing at quantity 74, NME ranked it thirty fifth on their checklist of the “Biggest Albums of All Time”.[152] Music critic Robert Christgau stated that Otis Blue was “the primary nice album by considered one of soul’s few dependable long-form artists”,[153] and that Redding’s “authentic LPs had been among the many most intelligently conceived black albums of the ’60s”.[154]

In 2002, town of Macon honored its native son by unveiling a memorial statue (

32°50′19.05″N 83°37′17.30″W / 32.8386250°N 83.6214722°W / 32.8386250; -83.6214722) within the metropolis’s Gateway Park. The park is subsequent to the Otis Redding Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Ocmulgee River. The Rhythm and Blues Basis named Redding because the recipient of its 2006 Pioneer Award.[155] Billboard awarded Redding the “Otis Redding Excellence Award” the identical 12 months.[41] A 12 months later he was inducted into the Hollywood’s Rockwalk in California.[94]

In 2007, Otis Redding’s widow based the Otis Redding Basis[156] in her husband’s honor. The Basis continues to supply music and humanities education schemes in Macon.

On August 17, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, town the place he did his final present at Leo’s On line casino, Redding was inducted into the inaugural class of the Rhythm & Blues Music Corridor of Fame at Cleveland State College.[157]


See additionally

  • Album period



  • Appiah, Kwame Anthony; Gates, Henry Louis; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (2004). Africana: An A-to-Z Reference of Writers, Musicians, and Artists of the African American Expertise. Working Press. ISBN 978-0-7624-2042-1. OCLC 57444998.{{cite e book}}: CS1 maint: a number of names: authors checklist (hyperlink)
  • Bowman, Rob (1997). Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Data. Schirmer Commerce. ISBN 978-0-8256-7284-2. OCLC 36824884.
  • Bream, Jon (2010). Complete Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated Historical past of the Heaviest Band of All Time. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-3955-8.
  • Brown, Geoff (2001). Otis Redding: Attempt a Little Tenderness (new ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-316-8.
  • Browne, Pat; Browne, Ray B. (2001). The Information to United States Fashionable Tradition. Bowling Inexperienced State College Fashionable Press. ISBN 978-0-87972-821-2. OCLC 44573365.
  • Buckley, Peter (November 20, 2003). The Tough Information Rock: The Definitive Information to Greater than 1200 Artists and Bands. Tough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0. OCLC 41389620.
  • Campbell, Michael; Brody, James (2007). Rock and Roll: An Introduction. Schirmer. ISBN 978-0-534-64295-2. OCLC 40861912.
  • Echols, Alice (2000). Scars of Candy Paradise: The Life and Occasions of Janis Joplin. H. Holt. ISBN 978-0-8050-5394-4. OCLC 43510359.
  • Everitt, Wealthy (2004). Falling Stars: Air Crashes That Stuffed Rock and Roll Heaven. Harbor Home. ISBN 978-1-891799-04-4. OCLC 55846282.
  • Freeman, Scott (2002). Otis!: The Otis Redding Story. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 978-0-312-30297-9. OCLC 47443887.
  • Gilliland, John (1969). “The Soul Reformation: Part Three, Soul Music on the Summit” (audio). Pop Chronicles. College of North Texas Libraries.
  • Graham, Invoice; Greenfield, Robert (2004). Invoice Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81349-8. OCLC 474578246.
  • Gulla, Bob (2007). Icons of R&B and Soul: An Encyclopedia of the Artists Who Revolutionized Rhythm, Quantity 1. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-34044-4. OCLC 220310006.
  • Guralnick, Peter (1999). Candy Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom. Again Bay Books. ISBN 978-0-316-33273-6. OCLC 41950519.
  • Inglis, Ian (2006). Efficiency and Fashionable Music: Historical past, Place, and Time. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-4057-8. OCLC 57893942.
  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution within the Head: The Beatles’ Data and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 978-0-8050-2780-8.
  • Higgins, Chester (December 28, 1967). “Eyewitness Tells of Otis Redding’s Violent Loss of life”. Jet. Johnson Publishing Firm. 33 (12). ISSN 0021-5996.
  • Johnson, John J, ed. (June 10, 1985). “Otis Redding’s Sons, Nephew Chart Personal Musical Course”. Jet. Johnson Publishing Firm. 68 (13). ISSN 0021-5996.
  • Johnson, John J, ed. (July 27, 1987). “20 Years Later Otis Redding Nonetheless Buried in Tomb on Household’s Ga. Farm”. Jet. Johnson Publishing Firm. 72 (18). ISSN 0021-5996.
  • Labrie, Peter (April 1968). “The Flame That Died”. Black World/Negro Digest. Johnson Publishing Firm. 17 (6).
  • Otfinoski, Steven (2003). African Individuals within the Performing Arts (A to Z of African Individuals). Information on File. ISBN 978-0-8160-4807-6. OCLC 49558659.
  • Palmer, Robert; DeCurtis, Anthony (2009). Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-9974-6.
  • Phelps, Shirelle (November 21, 1997). Up to date Black Biography. Vol. 16. Gale Analysis Inc. ISBN 978-0-7876-1225-2. OCLC 38062510.
  • Ribowsky, Mark (2015). Goals to Keep in mind : Otis Redding, Stax Data, and the Transformation of Southern Soul. Liveright Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-87140-873-0.
  • Ripani, Richard J. (2006). The New Blue Music: Modifications in Rhythm & Blues, 1950–1999. College Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-862-3. OCLC 69732900.
  • Rolling Stone Journal Employees (1967). The Rolling Stone Document Evaluate. Vol. 1. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-671-78531-4.
  • Stanton, Scott (September 2, 2003). The Tombstone Vacationer: Musicians. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-6330-0. OCLC 38752235.
  • Talevski, Nick (2006). Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84609-091-2. OCLC 64555765.
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  • White, Charles (2003). The Life and Occasions of Little Richard: The Licensed Biography (3 ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-9761-5. OCLC 52947711.

Additional studying

  • Schiesel, Jane (1973). The Otis Redding Story (1st ed.). Backyard Metropolis, New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-02335-1.
  • Delehant, Jim (2004). “The Blues Modifications from Day to Day: Otis Redding Interview”. In David Brackett (ed.). The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates. New York: Oxford College Press. ISBN 9780195125702. OCLC 628872571.

  • Official web site Edit this at Wikidata
  • Otis Redding at IMDb
  • Otis Redding at Discover a Grave

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