Posted by themusicsover on December 10, 2009
September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967
Otis Redding was rightfully called, the King of Soul partly due to his ability to inject power and emotion in most any song he sang. Redding began singing as a child in his church choir, and as he grew into his teens, he began to fall under the musical influence of another once-local singer, Little Richard. He spent the early years of his professional career touring around the southern states singing for blues guitarist, Johnny Jenkins. In 1962, Redding was in the studio with Jenkins when some spare studio time presented itself. He took the opportunity to record his “These Arms of Mine,” which was released on a Stax subsidiary label and became a minor hit. Over the next four years, Redding continued to release such hits as “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Satisfaction,” “Change Gonna Come,” “Mr. Pitiful,” and of course, “Respect,” which would later become Aretha Franklin’s signature song. Redding’s powerful stage presence and charisma made him a popular concert draw as well. His 1967 Monterey Pop Festival set was fortunately captured on film and still knocks viewers out to this day. Unfortunately, Redding’s life came to a tragic end just as he was at what would likely have been just his first peak of popularity. On December 10, 1967, the small aircraft that was carrying him and four members of his backing band, the Bar-Kays, crashed into a Madison, Wisconsin lake. Otis Redding, age 26, Jimmy King, Ronnie Caldwell, Phalon Jones and Carl Cunningham were all killed. Only Ben Cauley of the band survived the crash, while James Alexander stayed behind. Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” released shortly after his death, became his only #1 single and the first ever #1 ever by an artist who had recently passed away.
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