For Immediate Release
Macon, Georgia – September 9th would have marked the 80th birthday of the King of Soul, Otis Redding. To honor the beloved soul singer’s everlasting legacy, the Redding Estate, the Otis Redding Foundation and other industry partners have planned recognitions and virtual tributes throughout his hometown of Macon and around the world. Original plans for a weekend of concerts and events have been postponed due to the spike in cases from the pandemic.
Redding’s hometown of Macon will kick off the tributes with an art exhibition ‘Inspired by Otis’ in partnership with Macon Arts Alliance. Local artists have created works of art that have inspired them about Otis Redding and his legacy. The opening of the exhibit is September 3rd from 4pm-7pm. The exhibition runs through Friday September 24, 2021. Masks are required.
On Redding’s birthday September 9th, a proclamation will be presented on behalf of Governor Brian Kemp declaring the day as Otis Redding Day throughout the State of Georgia. The Otis Redding Museum and Foundation will unveil a new collection of memorabilia chronologicaling Redding’s life and legacy and his influences on the world. Items include handwritten notes and never seen before photos, Otis Redding Fan Club cards and the original bandstand used by Redding during shows. Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews states, “It is truly unfortunate that we cannot present public musical tribute events as in years past, but we hope to be able to take the opportunity to celebrate all of 2022”. The museum will hold the unveiling and proclamation presentation at 10am on September 9th at 339 Cotton Avenue. Masks are required.
Iconic DJ D-Nice will host one of his signature Club Quarantine virtual parties on Instagram to celebrate The King of Soul beginning on Sept. 9 at 5 p.m.CT /8 p.m. EST for 80 minutes. For his continued role in supporting Redding’s legacy, D-Nice will also receive the Award of RESPECT from The Otis Redding Foundation, a philanthropic organization that was established in 2007 by the singer’s widow, Zelma Redding.
Born in 1941, Redding’s rise to fame started at a young age. As a teenager, he began to compete in the Douglass Theatre talent shows for the $5 prize. After winning 15 times straight, he was no longer allowed to compete.
In 1958, Redding joined Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers. A few years later, in August 1962, Redding drove Jenkins to Memphis for a recording session at Stax Records. At the end of the session, Stax co-owner Jim Stewart allowed Redding to cut a couple of songs with the remaining studio time. The result was “These Arms Of Mine,” which came out later that year and became one of his best-selling songs.
Redding and the legendary Stax house band – keyboardist Booker T. Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, and drummer Al Jackson Jr. – recorded a string of Top Ten R&B hits between 1962 and 1967. That includes favorites like “Chained And Bound,” “Mr. Pitiful,” and “Try A Little Tenderness.” He also wrote “Respect,” a song that reached #4 on the R&B chart in 1965. Two years later, Aretha Franklin covered the song and took it to #1 on the pop and R&B charts, making it her signature tune.
That same year, Redding recorded his own signature song, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” Sadly, it was the last song he recorded before the plane crash that took his life in December 1967. The song would top the U.S. charts in 1968 making it the first posthumous #1 single. It was also his biggest hit, selling more than four million copies around the world. The track would also win Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
Despite his short career, Redding recorded songs that helped define soul in the Sixties and beyond. Today, Redding and his music continue to gain recognition. He’s been inducted into the halls of fame for Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Songwriters and Georgia Music. In addition to a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1999), three of Redding’s songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Respect” (1998), “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” (2011), and “Try A Little Tenderness” (2015).