Today, one of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s, he 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, but 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. ......N'joy
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Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) 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 and rhythm and blues. His singing style was powerfully influential among soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax sound.
Born and raised in Georgia, United States, from age 10, he took drum and singing lessons. At Ballard-Hudson High School, he sang in the school band. Every Sunday he earned $6 by performing gospel songs for Macon radio station WIBB. Redding left school at age 15 to support his family, working with Little Richard's backing band, the Upsetters, and performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins's band, the Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States as a driver and musician. At age 19, Redding met 15-year-old Zelma Atwood at "The Teenage Party." She gave birth to their son Dexter in the summer of 1960 and married Redding in August of 1961. In mid-1960, Otis moved to Los Angeles with his sister, Deborah, where he wrote his first songs including "She's Allright," "Tuff Enuff," "Gamma Lamma," and the song "Gettin' Hip," Redding's first composition released as a 45 RPM single recording. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, "These Arms of Mine", with "Hey Hey Baby" on the B-side. The single was released on Volt on October 1962, but charted in March the following year. It became one of his most successful songs, selling more than 800,000 copies. Stax released Redding's debut album Pain in My Heart two years later.
Redding's success allowed him to buy a 300-acre (1.2 km2) ranch in Georgia, which he called the "Big O Ranch." Stax was also doing well. Walden signed more musicians, including Percy Sledge, Johnnie Taylor, Clarence Carter and Eddie Floyd, and together with Redding they founded two production companies.
In late 1966, Redding returned to the Stax studio. At this session he recorded tracks including "Try a Little Tenderness", originally written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods in 1932. This song had previously been covered by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and the publishers unsuccessfully tried to stop Redding from recording the song from a "negro perspective'. Today often considered his signature song, his performance is so special and so unique that it expresses who he is." On this version Redding was backed by Booker T. & the M.G.'s, while staff producer Isaac Hayes worked on the arrangement.
Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later reached a wider American popular music audience. Along with his group, he first played small gigs in the American South, then debuted in the western United States at L.A.'s popular night club the Whisky a Go Go. Later appearances included Paris, London and other European cities.
A year after the Fillmore, Redding released the gold record-winning album King & Queen, with Carla Thomas. It was Jim Stewart's idea to produce a duet album, as he expected that "[Redding's] rawness and [Thomas'] sophistication would work". The album was recorded in January 1967, while Thomas was earning her M.A. in English at Howard University. Six out of ten songs were cut during their joint session; the rest were overdubbed by Redding in the days following, due to concert obligations. Three singles were lifted from the album: "Tramp" was released in April, followed by "Knock on Wood" and "Lovey Dovey". All three reached at least the top 60 on both the R&B and Pop charts. The album charted at number 5 and 36 on the Billboard Pop and R&B charts, respectively.
In 1967, Redding performed at the influential Monterey Pop Festival as the closing act on Saturday night, the second day of the festival. Until that point, Redding was still performing mainly for black audiences. Redding and his backing band (Booker T. & the M.G.'s with the Mar-Keys horn section) had opened with Cooke's "Shake" His act, which included his own song "Respect" and a version of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction", was well received by the audience.
After Monterey, Redding wanted to record with Conley, but Stax was against the idea. The two moved from Memphis to Macon to continue writing. The result was "Sweet Soul Music", based on Cooke's "Yeah Man". It peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. By that time Redding had developed polyps on his larynx, which he tried to treat with tea and lemon or honey. He was hospitalized in September 1967 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York to undergo surgery.
In early December 1967, Redding again recorded at Stax. One new song was "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", which was written with Cropper while they were staying with their friend, Earl "Speedo" Sims, on a houseboat in Sausalito. Redding was inspired by the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and tried to create a similar sound against the label's wishes. His wife Zelma disliked its atypical melody. The Stax crew were also dissatisfied with the new sound; Stewart thought that it was not R&B, while bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn feared it would damage Stax's reputation. However, Redding wanted to expand his musical style and thought it was his best song and correctly believed it would top the charts. Redding whistled at the end, either forgetting Cropper's "fadeout rap", or paraphrasing it intentionally.
By 1967 the band was traveling to gigs on Redding's Beechcraft H18. On December 9, 1967, they appeared on the Upbeat television show produced in Cleveland. They played three concerts in two nights at a small club called Leo's Casino. After a phone call with Zelma and their children, Redding's next stop was Madison, Wisconsin; the next day they were to play at the Factory nightclub near the University of Wisconsin.
Although the weather was poor, with heavy rain and fog and despite warnings, the plane took off. Four miles from their destination at Truax Field in Madison, the pilot radioed for permission to land. Shortly thereafter, the plane crashed into Lake Monona. The cause of the crash was never determined.
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was released in January 1968 and became Redding's only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and the first posthumous number-one single in US chart history. It sold approximately four million copies worldwide and received more than eight million airplays. The album The Dock of the Bay was the first posthumous album to reach the top spot on the UK Albums Chart.
Shortly after Redding's death, Atlantic Records, distributor of the Stax/Volt releases, was purchased by Warner Bros. Stax was required to renegotiate its distribution deal and was surprised to learn that Atlantic actually owned the entire Stax/Volt catalog. Stax was unable to regain the rights to its recordings and severed its Atlantic relationship. Atlantic also held the rights to all unreleased Otis Redding masters. It had enough material for three studio albums—The Immortal Otis Redding (1968), Love Man (1969), and Tell the Truth (1970)—all issued on its Atco Records. A number of successful singles emerged from these LPs, among them "Amen" (1968), "Hard to Handle" (1968), "I've Got Dreams to Remember" (1968), "Love Man" (1969), and "Look at That Girl" (1969).
Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific nickname King of Soul. In addition to "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," "Respect" and "Try a Little Tenderness" are among his best-known songs.
Five of his albums, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, Dreams to Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology, The Dock of the Bay, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul and Live in Europe, were ranked by Rolling Stone on their list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
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Pain in My Heart includes songs from Redding's 1962–1963 sessions. Stewart signed Redding for Stax and released Redding's debut single "These Arms of Mine", with "Hey Hey Baby" on the B-side. "These Arms of Mine", released on the Volt sister label on October 1962, but charted in March the following year, became one of his most successful songs, selling more than 800,000 copies.
In the 1963 session, "That's What My Heart Needs" and "Mary's Little Lamb" were recorded and cut in June 1963; the latter became one of the worst-selling singles by Redding. According to Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records author Rob Bowman, in these two songs "Otis sings with a harsh, impassioned gospel voice", and saw similarities with the voice of Blind Boy Archie Brownlee, and further reckoned the ending of the first would have made Redding "a suberp gospel singer had he chosen to record in that idiom." "That's What My Heart Needs" became Redding's second single on Stax.
Pain in My Heart set the pattern for all his ballads to come—Otis triumphed at rendering agony. Signs of the singer's virtuosity are already apparent in the almost teasing way he lingers over some lyrics and spits out others; virtually never would he sing a line the same way twice.
Sings Soul Ballads was one of the first issued by Volt Records, a sub-label of Stax Records, and Redding's first on the new label. Like Redding's debut Pain in My Heart, Soul Ballads features both soul classics and originals written by Redding and other Stax Records recording artists. The recording sessions took place at the Stax studios in Memphis. The album features a stereo mixer made by engineer Tom Dowd, replacing the early mono mixer.
The album features the Booker T. & the M.G.'s, the horn section Memphis Horns and the pianist Isaac Hayes, who possibly first appeared on this album, although this is disputed, as he was not credited on the liner notes. Unlike Redding's debut album, Sings Soul Ballads was released both on Atlantic's subsidiary Atco Records and Stax's Volt Records. While the album and its singles were moderately successful on the music charts, it includes Redding's first top-ten single, "Mr. Pitiful".
Otis Redding - Pain In My Heart/Sings Soul Ballads (flac 122mb/128mb=275mb)
01 Pain in My Heart 02:24
02 The Dog 02:36
03 Stand by Me 02:52
04 Hey Hey Baby 02:47
05 You Send Me 03:15
06 I Need Your Lovin' 02:53
07 These Arms of Mine 02:34
08 Louie, Louie 02:07
09 Something Is Worrying Me 02:29
10 Security 02:37
11 That's What My Heart Needs 02:41
12 Lucille 02:28
01 That's How Strong My Love Is 02:26
02 Chained And Bound 02:42
03 A Woman, A Lover, A Friend 03:21
04 Your One And Only Man 03:14
05 Nothing Can Change This Love 03:04
06 It's Too Late 03:03
07 For Your Precious Love 02:57
08 I Want To Thank You 02:40
09 Come To Me 02:50
10 Home In Your Heart 02:06
11 Keep Your Arms Around Me 02:53
12 Mr. Pitiful 02:40
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Otis Blue, released September 15, 1965 on Stax Records, is the third studio album by soul singer Otis Redding. The album mainly consists of cover songs by popular R&B and soul artists, and, bar one track, was recorded in a 24-hour period over July 9/10 1965 at the Stax Recording Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Otis Blue was critically acclaimed upon release and became one of Redding's most successful albums; it reached number 6 on the UK Albums Chart, and was his first to reach the top spot of the Billboard R&B chart. Otis Blue is included in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and Robert Dimery's "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die".
The Soul Album shows him moving from strength to strength in a string of high-energy, sweaty soul performances, interspersing his own songs with work by Sam Cooke ("Chain Gang"), Roy Head ("Treat Her Right"), Eddie Floyd ("Everybody Makes A Mistake"), and Smokey Robinson ("It's Growing") and recasting them in his own style, so that they're not "covers" so much as reinterpretations; indeed, "Chain Gang" is almost a rewrite of the original, though one suspects not one that Cooke would have disapproved of. He still had a little way to go as a songwriter -- the jewel of this undervalued collection is "Cigarettes And Coffee, co-authored by Eddie Thomas and Jerry Butler -- but as an interpreter he was now without peer, and his albums were now showing this remarkable, stunningly high level of consistency.
Otis Redding - Otis Blue/The Soul Album (flac 132mb/125mb = 285mb)
01 Ole Man Trouble 02:39
02 Respect 02:08
03 A Change Is Gonna Come 04:16
04 Down In The Valley 03:01
05 I've Been Loving You Too Long 02:57
06 Shake 02:41
07 My Girl 02:58
08 Wonderful World 03:14
09 Rock Me Baby 03:25
10 Satisfaction 02:48
11 You Don't Miss Your Water 02:49
The Soul Album
01 Just One More Day 03:31
02 It's Growing 02:47
03 Cigarettes And Coffee 03:53
04 Chain Gang 03:04
05 Nobody Knows You [When You're Down And Out]03:11
06 Good To Me 03:51
07 Scratch My Back 02:42
08 Treat Her Right 02:11
09 Everybody Makes A Mistake 03:23
10 Any Ole Way 02:34
11 634-5789 [Soulville, U.S.A.] 02:49
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Live in Europe is was Redding's first live album as well as the only live album released during his lifetime, issued exactly five months before his death on December 10, 1967. The album was recorded during the Stax/Volt tour
of Europe and Redding is backed by Booker T. & the MG's. Recorded at
the Olympia Theatre, Paris; March 21, 1967. In 2003, the album was ranked number 474 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Otis Redding - Live In Europe 1967 (flac 244mb)
01 Respect 03:43
02 Can't Turn You Loose 03:28
03 I've Been Loving You Too Long 04:07
04 My Girl 02:42
05 Shake 02:56
06 Satisfaction 03:00
07 Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) 04:04
08 These Arms Of Mine 03:47
09 Day Tripper 03:05
10 Try A Little Tenderness 05:07
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