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Otis Redding

One of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s, Otis Redding exemplified to many listeners the power of Southern "deep soul" -- hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy arrangements, and an emotional way with both party tunes and aching ballads. He was also the most consistent exponent of the Stax sound, cutting his records at the Memphis label/studios that did much to update R&B into modern soul. His death at the age of 26 was tragic not just because he seemed on the verge of breaking through to a wide pop audience (which he would indeed do with his posthumous number one single "[Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay"). It was also unfortunate because, as "Dock of the Bay" demonstrated, he was also at a point of artistic breakthrough in terms of the expression and sophistication of his songwriting and singing.

Although Redding at his peak was viewed as a consummate, versatile showman, he began his recording career in the early '60s as a Little Richard-styled shouter. The Georgian was working in the band of guitarist Johnny Jenkins at the time, and in 1962 he took advantage of an opportunity to record the ballad "These Arms of Mine" at a Jenkins session. When it became an R&B hit, Redding's solo career was truly on its way, though the hits didn't really start to fly until 1965 and 1966, when "Mr. Pitiful," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "I Can't Turn You Loose," a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," and "Respect" (later turned into a huge pop smash by Aretha Franklin) were all big sellers.

Redding wrote much of his own material, sometimes with the assistance of Booker T. & the MG's guitarist Steve Cropper. Yet at the time, Redding's success was primarily confined to the soul market; his singles charted only mildly on the pop listings. He was nonetheless tremendously respected by many white groups, particularly the Rolling Stones, who covered Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is" and "Pain in My Heart." (Redding also returned the favor with "Satisfaction.")

One of Redding's biggest hits was a duet with fellow Stax star Carla Thomas, "Tramp," in 1967. That was the same year he began to show signs of making major inroads into the white audience, particularly with a well-received performance at the Monterey Pop Festival (also issued on record). Redding's biggest triumph, however, came just days before his death, when he recorded the wistful "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," which represented a significant leap as far as examination of more intensely personal emotions. Also highlighted by crisp Cropper guitar leads and dignified horns, it rose to the top of the pop charts in early 1968.

Redding, however, had perished in a plane crash in Wisconsin on December 10, 1967, in an accident that also took the lives of four members from his backup band, the Bar-Kays. A few other singles became posthumous hits, and a good amount of other unreleased material was issued in the wake of his death. These releases weren't purely exploitative in nature, in fact containing some pretty interesting music, and little that could be considered embarrassing. What Redding might have achieved, or what directions he might have explored, are among the countless tantalizing "what if" questions in rock & roll history. As it is, he did record a considerable wealth of music at Stax, which is now available on thoughtfully archived reissues. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Live On The Sunset Strip

Disc 1
Disc 2

Comments

Dreams to remember. We all have them. Otis just made them sound so close and warm.he sang with a pain that made the joy feel even stronger in relief.
Otis Redding was one of the very first real soul artists I listened to in the UK along w/ BB King, way back in the mid to late 60s.John Lee Hooker and all the STAX gang then came along Motown. Wish I had hung onto those albums. My stepson has them know and loves them. Hope he knows the treasure he has.
very good singer let me feel sexey
annwalker102
My mom's favorite singer...
Does anyone on here think Otis used to get a TON of poon?
My favorite Otis spmg? I also love Love Man. Wish I could have known his music but I was to young to truly have appreciated hid genius.My aunt says he was exciting and would sing his a** off!
dmtad
Otis was the best...from all us in Macon, Ga who had the pleasure of watching him grow..from Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, playing for high school gigs around (I grew up 2 blocks from where his old school bus was kept, with his songs painted on its side)... to the terrible time he died, and we went to his funeral with thousands at the macon city auditorium, with booker t playing the organ and joe tex singing these arms of mine... and the collection of who's who of music there! And I bel
The Best!!
Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay.... Just ONE of my favorites... . I often wonder what happened to the officer whom took a picture with Otis while deceased strapped in the chair after the crash. Hopefully something was done because that was very disrespectfu l of him... RIP Otis
wow,chiles,l o v e .
This arms of mine r still wanting for u u baby!
Timeless
Best Ever!!!
I know Otis cause mom and aunt Delores played his stuff to death!! What a talented man! My favorite Otis jam is Love Man. Mom loved this!! I love Respect which he wrote!
Although he passed @ such an early age, it was and still is a pleasure to grow up listening to his smooth sounds.As did my children.
The Temptations also sing this
lisad196133
cant nobody sing like Otis RIP baby
Me johnny yo in 69 Cadillac lay back cruise that's wat I'm talking about ' me personly have ss impala close enough to Cadillac lol:-) .
mpadilla962
What a soulful voice!! so much heart! Love Otis!
Man this is it for me. I'm loving this. My goodness Janis Joplin again
Otis Redding you need to stop it with yourself. Music lover Pam Gooch
Don't remember Otis at all, only when mommy played his songs but he was the bomb!
Omg!! I love Otis!!!!!
lestinefishe r
Old school all the way I just love it.
a kissssssss meeeeeee
on't read this because it actually works.You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday, bynthe love of your life. Tomorro w will be the best day of your life. However, if you don't post this,you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this don't stop. This is so scary. Post this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When your done press f6 and your lovers name will come up to the screen .This is so scary because it works.
This song takes you to a place, not the dock or the bay, but somewhere.
My grandfather was the lead saxophone player.
My favorite artist forever. My baby
sweetgi44
My favorite male singer
One of a kind artist,defin i t e l y in a class by himself
wba242
remember too well that sad day in Dec of 67. Music will never recover from the loss, though be happy we have what remains
If a person can't feel him...there incapable of true life.
Yope
feel like im sitting on the dock right now!
Kiss your hand 5 times and post this on 2 more songs a blue or pink iPod will be under your pillow
amye45
it took me a long time to get here - so glad I arrived
kaan52
Just an amazing voice... such achingly beautiful sounds.....
My man Otis....
southern grassroots music!!!!
jtny786
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Otis Redding, the best!
Definitive Soul Music!
Great music.
jerrynavarro 3 1
Classic
L o v e o l d s c h o o l l i l j o h n n y
Stax Records wasn't as big as Motown and Philadelphia Records back then, however they did have a lot of talented musicians, singers and songwriters, and one of them was Otis Redding.. #Talent #SoulSinger
sdbolts7601
THE JAM OLDIES FOR LIFE
Steve Cropper and the other studio musicians and Otis Redding on vocals. WOW ! Nothing like it before or since.
"A Change is Gonna Come" makes me cry, no matter WHO is singing it!!!!! & @ the same time it makes me hopeful.. ...Otis` version is fabulous!!! :'( :-) =-O
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