Otis Reddingsinger, songwriter
Birthplace: Dawson, GA
Legendary soul singer whose death at age 26 ended a career just as it was about to blossom. In 1962, Redding, a former choir member, was a roadie for Johnny and the Pinetoppers when he took advantage of some spare studio time at the famous Stax Studios in Memphis to record his own music. Studio executives were so impressed they offered him a contract right away. His debut single, “These Arms of Mine,” was a hit, as were a string of subsequent singles, “Mr. Pitiful,” “I Can't Turn You Loose,” and “I've Been Loving You Too Long.” But though Redding, who wrote much of his own material, was respected by groups like the Rolling Stones, who recorded a number of his songs, his early success was confined to the soul market. In 1967, “Tramp,” his duet with Carla Thomas, marked a breakthrough with white audiences. The same year, “Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay,” went to number one in the pop charts, but by then Redding was dead. He and four members of his backing died when Redding's private plane crashed.Died: 12/10/1967
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