Runaway Dinosaur

For the love of the music…..

Today (September 9th) Would Have Been Otis Redding’s 67th Birthday

Posted by jhochstat on September 8, 2008

It is mind boggling to think of the contributions that Otis Redding made to modern recorded music before he died at the young age of 26 in a plane crash on December 10th 1967.  He had just recorded his most famous hit Sitting on the Dock on the Bay 3 days before his tragic death.

Otis Redding’s start in the music business was not what most people might think.  He got his big break working as a driver for Johnny Jenkins, who had gone to the Stax Studios in Memphis.

At that time, Jenkins had no driving licence so his friend Otis Redding, then an unknown singer, had driven him from Macon to Memphis for the session. When it was over, Jenkins suggested cutting something with Redding in the remaining studio time.

Otis in Stax Studios

Otis in Stax Studios

As Steve Cropper, the band’s guitarist, says in Scott Freeman’s biography, Otis!: “I thought Otis Redding was Johnny Jenkins’s driver. He was just helping out, unloading the amps and stuff… He just kind of sat around all day long… Otis sat down at the piano and said, ‘I don’t play anything. Can you just play me some triplets?’ So I started playing and he came out [singing], These Arms of Mine.” Jenkins played guitar alongside Cropper on piano in a spontaneous arrangement. It was the start of Redding’s career. (That is the accepted story although Robb Bowman in his extensive notes to The Otis Redding Story (1987) quotes Phil Walden, Redding’s manager, as saying that everything was not quite as casual as the historical record might seem.)

Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness (Live)

Otis Redding – I Can’t Turn You Loose (Live)

Otis Redding live – Satisfaction (Live)

Otis Redding – My Girl (Live)


One Response to “Today (September 9th) Would Have Been Otis Redding’s 67th Birthday”

  1. Diane said

    Happy Birthday Otis!

    What an amazing legacy Otis left for Soul Music!

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