Otis Redding would have turned 80 years old this today, September 9. To honor the beloved soul singer's legacy Rhino is introducing several releases that showcase the music that made Redding a legend in the 1960s and continues to win over younger generations.
Fans will have a new way to hear some of Redding's biggest hits as Rhino introduces new immersive Dolby Atmos mixes for seven of his best, including "These Arms of Mine," "Pain In My Heart," "Love Man," "That's How Strong My Love Is" and "I've Got Dreams To Remember" along with his two holiday classics "Merry Christmas Baby" and "White Christmas."
This spring will also see other artists expressing their appreciation of Redding with a rollout of several new remixes of some of his classic tracks. The Australian electronic duo Korky Buchek have done a remix of "Tramp," Redding's classic 1967 duet with Carla Thomas.
Born in 1941, Redding's rise to fame started at a young age. As a teenager, he began competed in talent shows for a $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 GrammyÒ 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 GrammyÒ Lifetime Achievement Award (1999), three of Redding’s songs have been inducted into the GrammyÒ Hall of Fame: “Respect” (1998), “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” (2011), and “Try A Little Tenderness” (2015).