My Legends of Pop Music – Part Thirty-Six – Otis Redding

If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.

So, in a sort of chronological order, my thirty sixth legend is: Otis Redding

The featured track from 1962, “These Arms of Mine” was his first hit record.  I would have been about 8 and I remember this coming on the radio and singing along.  Not that many records of his released in the UK, but I am sure you will know some of them.

Curtesy of Wiki:

Otis Ray Redding Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer and songwriter. He is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music and a seminal artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. Nicknamed the “King of Soul”, Redding’s style of singing gained inspiration from the gospel music that preceded the genre. His singing style influenced many other soul artists of the 1960s.

Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia, and at age two, moved to Macon. Redding quit school at age 15 to support his family, working with Little Richard‘s backing band, the Upsetters, and by performing in talent shows at 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 appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first hit single, “These Arms of Mine“, in 1962.

Stax released Redding’s debut album, Pain in My Heart, two years later. Initially popular mainly with African-Americans, Redding later reached a wider American pop music audience. Along with his group, he first played small shows in the American South. Redding later performed at the popular Los Angeles night club Whisky a Go Go and toured Europe, performing in London, Paris and other major cities. He also performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

Shortly before his death in a plane crash, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. The album The Dock of the Bay was the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart. Redding’s premature death devastated Stax. Already on the verge of bankruptcy, the label soon discovered that the Atco division of Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire song catalogue.

Redding received many posthumous accolades, including two Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame. and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his best-known songs.

 A full discography is here:  Otis Redding

That’s What My Heart Needs-(High Def) – Super ballad.

Pain In My Heart (Ready Steady Go – 1966) – Who remembers this show! – Live show, mimed of course, everything was in these days.

Come To Me (1964) – Incredible vocals on this.

Security (Live at the Whiskey A Go Go)

Chained and Bound – Live version (sound only though)

Mr. Pitiful (Live) – This would have been around 1964, live colour version.

Thats How Strong My Love Is – great soul track

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long – 1967.06.17 – Monterey, CA, USA – You will know this one, great soul sound.

Respect – Another huge hit for him as the writer.  This song made famous of course by Aretha Franklin.

I Can’t Turn You Loose – You will recognise the horns being played from The Blues Brothers.

My Girl – A Smokey Robins written song which I also included in The Temptations.  His voice really does make this song work.

Try a little tenderness Monterey 1967 – I cannot say in words how good this song is.  I am sure you will know it.

Otis Redding, Eric Burdon & Chris Farlowe – Shake (Live, 1966) – Rocking it up a bit!

Papas Got a Brand New Bag Live – Super song, bet you know this one as well.

Of course, the one you really will know well:
Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay: Take 2 (Official Full Audio)

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to previous Legend articles:

1-Buddy Holly 2-Elvis Presley 3-Everly brothers 4-Cliff Richard 5-Joe Brown
6-Gerry and the Pacemakers 7-Roy Orbison 8-The Seekers 9-The Hollies 10-The Rolling Stones
11-Beach Boys 12-The Monkees 13-Rod Stewart 14-T-Rex 15-Slade
16-10CC 17-Pussycat 18-The Kinks 19-Blondie 20-Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music
21-David Bowie 22-Meatloaf 23-The Temptations 24-Dusty Springfield 25-Fleetwood Mac
26-Gilbert O’Sullivan 27-The Four Tops 28-Chas ‘n’ Dave 29-Diana Ross and The Supremes 30-Status Quo
31-Jim Reeves 32-The Small Faces 33-The Doobie Brothers 34-Manfred Mann 35-Creedence Clearwater Revival
36-Otis Redding

Featured Image: Stax Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

© Phil the ex test manager 2022