Soul singer who died way too young in a plane crash in 1967. Originated many songs that others covered (such as "Respect" before Aretha Franklin did it) but sang some of them, such as "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" so well that no cover could ever eclipse them.

He started out as a child singing in the church choir and eventually at age 15 dropped out of school to try and help support his family as a singer. In 1960 he joined Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, and in 1962 when the band was supposed to be recording at Stax Studios in Memphis but the session wasn't going well, he was allowed to record some other work. This turned out to be "These Arms of Mine," his first hit.

He wrote and arranged all his own songs, and was president of his own publishing firm, rare in the 1960s. Most of his songs were recorded with the backing of Booker T. and the MG's at Stax. Among his big hits were "Mr. Pitiful," "Dum-dum-dum (Happy Song)", "Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa (Sad song)," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Try A Little Tenderness," "My Lovers Prayer," "Hard To Handle," "Just One More Day," "Knock On Wood," "I Can't Turn You Loose," "Shake," "I've Got Dreams To Remember," "Ole Man Trouble," "Respect," "That's How Strong My Love Is," versions of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" and The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," and possibly most identified with him, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay." This last was not released until after his death on December 10, 1967, in a plane crash which also killed four members of the Stax Band the Bar-Kays but became his biggest hit.

If you have ever listened to Otis Redding's Try a Little Tenderness, Respect, or many of this other recordings, then one is aware of lyrics of emotional utterings especially at the termination of former song. This evidence of funky glossolalia is not, however nonsense, and for those who, during this high tech world have lost your 'Soul' better memorize this list (to which it was necessary rephrase the phonetic pronounciation guide) from Lead Guitar: Consolidated Music, NY; 1972 - excerpts from The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul:

Ou-yea (ooh-yay), adverb

to give in; a reply to get what one wants.

My-my-my (mmeye-mmeye-mmeye), adjective

no longer yours; goody three times.

Ou-ni (ooh-nee), adverb

to hurt so good.

Ni (nee), adverb

to do very quickly.

Leetle (leetuhl), adjective

just enough to make one want more.

Ou (ooh), noun

ouchless excitement.

Yea-ni (yay-nee), adverb

an agreement to give in very quickly.

Oh-mi (ooh-mmeye), interjection + adverb (comp)

to get it very quickly.

Weel (weeel) noun, verb, aux. v. t.

desire to give it or get it.

Gotta-Gotta(got-ah), verb

not able to do without it.

Give it (giv-it), verb + pron (comp)

absitively positutely {sic} not.

Oh-naw-naw (o-nah), interjecion + adverb (comp)

to let oneself go, under any circumstance.

Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa (fah), phrase

sad song.

Ou we ni (ooh-wee-nee), phrase

getting gooder by the minute.

The King of Soul

In 1967, Otis Redding achieved a significant amount of recognition as an R&B artist after his performance at the infamous Monterrey Pop Festival. Since the age of 19, he had been riding the proverbial rails of the black 1960's pop-music grind. Working as a songwriter for various 1960's pop acts, as well as touring southern universities as the frontman for a rhythm and blues act, Redding finally achieved a well-deserved notoriety for his colossal talent as an individual singer-songwriter.

Later that year, Redding began recording the song (Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay to be included on his next major-label release. There are varying accounts as to why the song remained unfinished, be it writers block or a subsequent plan to scrap the track altogether; regardless, Redding kept the recording intact by simply whistling through what would ultimately be a final verse. Three days later, he and his back-up band, The Bar-Kays, performed a concert in Cleveland while in the city making a promotional appearance on the "Upbeat" television program. On the way back home, the airplane carrying Redding crashed into a frigid Wisconsin lake. His 26 year-old body was soon recovered after a sweep of the lakebed.

He left behind a wife, two sons, a daughter, one unfinished song that happened to become the first posthumous #1 Billboard Top 100 single in history and a collection of unreleased songs - three of which hold spots in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Top 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll," a subsequent induction into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Look like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, yes

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