Please join the Albumism team in celebrating Otis Redding’s musical legacy and revisit audio & video highlights from his/her career below!
Born: September 9, 1941
Died: December 10, 1967
Biography: 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. [Read Mr. Redding’s full bio via AllMusic]
Discography (Studio Albums):
Pain in My Heart (1964)
The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965)
Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965)
The Soul Album (1966)
Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (1966)
King & Queen (1967)