Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life

Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life

by Jonathan Gould


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The long-awaited, definitive biography of The King of Soul, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding's iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own. As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967.
In Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, Jonathan Gould finally does justice to Redding’s incomparable musical artistry, drawing on exhaustive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources of information to present the first comprehensive portrait of the singer’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career.

In chronicling the story of Redding’s life and music, Gould also presents a social history of the time and place from which they emerged.  His book never lets us forget that the boundaries between black and white in popular music were becoming porous during the years when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States. His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America that resonates strongly with the present day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307453945
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 05/16/2017
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

JONATHAN GOULD is a former professional musician and the author of CAN’T BUY ME LOVE: The Beatles, Britain & America.   He divides his time between a home in Brooklyn and a house near Hudson, NY.

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Table of Contents

Monterey 1

Georgia on My Mind 18

Laura 33

Gallantry's Last Bow 42

Sonny 49

Georgia Tom 56

Sister Rosetta and the Jukebox King 64

Macon Music 71

Brown V. Board 80

Brother Ray 86

1955 91

Specialty 101

Bellevue 109

Hillview Springs 117

Teenage Party 126

Atlantic 135

Phil 142

Otis and Phil 152

Zelma 160

Love Twist 169

Joe 180

Satellite 189

Stax 197

These Arms of Mine 207

That's What My Heart Needs 213

The Hot Summer Revue 224

Pain in My Heart 230

The Apollo 239

Security 245

Berry, Brown, and Burke 253

Roy Street 261

Soul Ballads 269

I've Been Loving You Too Long 281

Otis Blue 291

My Girl 303

I Can't Turn You Loose 314

The Soul Album 322

The Whisky 330

Summer 1966 338

Otis and Phil Redux 344

Ready Steady Go! 354

Dictionary Of Soul 360

The Fillmore 370

King & Queen 376

Hit The Road, Stax 387

R-E-S-P-E-C-T 397

The Love Crowd 405

Buses To Planes 413

What Makes These Guys So Special 420

The Dock of the Bay 428

December 10 433

Epitaph 442

Epilogue 452

Acknowledgments 467

Notes 473

Bibliography 502

Photography Credits 516

Index 517

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