Otis!: The Otis Redding Story

Otis!: The Otis Redding Story

by Scott Freeman
     
 

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Born in Terrell County, Georgia, a sleepy little farming community, on September 8, 1941, Otis Redding, Jr., was the fourth of six children born to Otis and Fannie Mae Redding. Inspired by the hymns he heard in church, Otis became enthralled by music at an early age. When he was ten, Otis sang in the Vineville Baptist Church's choir and eventually played drums for a… See more details below

Overview

Born in Terrell County, Georgia, a sleepy little farming community, on September 8, 1941, Otis Redding, Jr., was the fourth of six children born to Otis and Fannie Mae Redding. Inspired by the hymns he heard in church, Otis became enthralled by music at an early age. When he was ten, Otis sang in the Vineville Baptist Church's choir and eventually played drums for a gospel group that had a local Sunday-morning radio show; then at thirteen he moved on to the piano. Music was his sole occupation. When Otis heard Little Richard, a singer who had grown up in a small town only miles from his own and had risen to stardom, his vision of his future became clear. He was going to be a singer, a dream that his father was sure was going to lead him nowhere. But at a talent show given by Hillview Springs Social Club in Bellevue, Georgia, someone from the Upsetters, Little Richard's old backup band, heard Otis sing and Otis's career was born, and his rep began to build.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Before his death in 1967 at the age of 26, the legendary soul singer Otis Redding was the premier act of the Stax-Volt record company, whose recordings by Booker T. & the MG's and Sam & Dave, among others, offered a Southern-based brew of R&B, funk and blues that was Motown Records' main competitor in the mid- to late-1960s. Freeman, whose excellent Midnight Riders explored the Allman Brothers' revolutionary Southern rock, has produced another well-written, expertly researched and culturally sensitive chapter in the history of Southern popular music, as well as the first truly in-depth view of the man whose powerful stage presence and commanding vocals made him the first soul artist to cross over to a predominantly white, rock-oriented audience. Redding's music is given its proper context in the black community of Macon, Ga. which also produced Little Richard and James Brown and in the managing career of Phil Walden, a young white soul fan who managed and directed Redding's career and began a Macon-based musical empire that, unlike most Southern labels, achieved success based on a true unity of black and white musicians . But Freeman is no hagiographer: he makes it clear that both Redding and Walden were tough characters with their eyes on the money, too. This nuanced account of Redding's celebrated career, which ended only three days after he recorded the song "The Dock of the Bay," proves that he deserves his place in the pantheon of great American singers. Eight pages of photos not seen by PW. (Dec.) Forecast: With a national radio campaign and supported by the enduring popularity of Redding's music, this should be a success with audiences interested in classic American roots music.Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
"He knew this was the record that was going to open a door long nailed shut; he just never got to step inside." That is how Freeman describes "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay," Redding's first No. 1 hit on both the R&B and pop charts in 1968. The song was another confirmation of Redding's skill as well as his break into the white artist-dominated mainstream. Sadly, he died in a plane crash days after recording it in 1967. As editor of Atlanta magazine and author of the critically acclaimed Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band (Scott Freeman, 1995) Freeman, as only a Georgia native can, forthrightly portrays his subject's life from his meager, sometimes criminal, beginnings as a Little Richard wannabe in Macon, GA, to his rise to King of Soul with his fiery sessions for Stax Records and legendary performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival. With industrious research and countless interviews with Georgia musicians and locals, Otis! not only chronicles Redding's story but also explains how Motown rival Stax crafted its country-soul sound with a roster that included Booker T. and the MG's and James Brown. Jane Schiesel's The Otis Redding Story (1973) has long been out of print, so this update is welcome. For all public libraries. Eric Hahn, Fargo, ND Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"...a readable account of a big-hearted singer who, in five short years, left a legacy that continues to inspire." (RELIX magazine)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312262174
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
12/11/2001
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.95(d)

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