Otis Redding Jr. was a high school dropout who supported his family by playing with Little Richard’s band the Upsetters. After a chance encounter at Stax Recording Studio, he signed his first contract. His music initially reached primarily African American audiences, but later became widely appreciated, honoring him with number one record on the Billboards charts. He was also a songwriter and producer, penning notable hits such as Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” Sadly, in 1967 a plane carrying Redding and his bandmates went down over Madison, Wisconsin, killing him. But his legacy continues on today in his music.
From: Dawson, Georgia
Influences: Little Richard, Sam Cooke
Favorite Tracks: Sittin on the Dock of the Bay, These Arms of Mine, Try A Little Tenderness
Discography: 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)
If You Like: Booker T & the M.G.’s, Al Green, Aretha Franklin
Genre: soul, R&B