Otis Ray Redding Jr. September 9, — December 10, was an American singer, songwriter, record producer , arranger , and talent scout. 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. 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 s. Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia , and at the age of 2, moved to Macon, Georgia. 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 , 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 single, " These Arms of Mine ", in Stax released Redding's debut album, Pain in My Heart , two years later.
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Who Was Otis Redding?
Fifty years ago, on December 10, , a private plane carrying Otis Redding and the members of his touring band stalled on its final approach to the municipal airport in Madison, Wisconsin, and crashed into the waters of Lake Monona, killing all but one of the eight people onboard. He was determined to become the first African-American artist to connect with the burgeoning audience for album rock that had transformed the world of popular music since the arrival of the Beatles in America, in Thrilled with the results of a throat surgery that left his voice stronger and suppler than ever before, he resolved to scale back his relentless schedule of live performances in order to place a greater emphasis on recording, songwriting, and production. In the weeks before his death, he had written and recorded a spate of ambitious new songs. A sombre overture to the year of the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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