R.I.P. Soul Legend Otis Reading (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) + LIVE CONCERT FOOTAGE


On this day in 1967, the World lost a titan of soul music. Otis Reading was one of the most talented and passionate singers of his time and his gift will live on for generations to come. With a powerful delivery, tone and unparalleled penchant for interpretation, Reading changed the way people listend and performed. Long before Kanye West and Jay-Z received Grammy Awards for their Otis (and subsequently flipped by Chuck D), which sampled Try a Little Tenderness, Otis raised the spirits of a Nation and, through his music, helped begin the process for greater unity.

In tribute to this great singer, we present one of his last performances of that great song at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

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Otis’ breathtaking performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival gave him a new audience. Although he had gained prominence in the past, his reputation was limited to rythm & blues fans.

He so electrified the audience at Monterey that the world of pop opened for him. From that point on Otis’ audience transcended all categories.


More about Otis Reading from Wikipedia:

Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer and songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout. Considered one of the major figures in soul music and rhythm and blues, and one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music, his singing style influenced other soul artists of the 1960s, and he helped to craft the powerful style of R&B that formed the basis of the Stax Sound. After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, he wrote and recorded “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper, which became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay reached number one on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the first posthumous album to do so.

Born and raised in Georgia, United States, at age 15 Redding left school to support his family by working with Little Richard’s backing band, The Upsetters, and by performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins’s band, The Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States while serving as driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a session led to a turning point in his career. He signed a contract with Stax Records and released his first single, “These Arms of Mine”, in 1962. Stax released Redding’s debut album, Pain in My Heart, two years later.

Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later became also popular among the broader American public. He and his group first played small gigs in the South, then performed at the Whisky a Go Go nightclub, their first concert in the western United States. Internationally, Redding also performed in Paris, London and other cities. Redding’s death devastated Stax, a label on the verge of bankruptcy, which later discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire catalog. Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Because of his influence on other artists, he received the honorific “King of Soul”. Among his most well-known songs were “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness”. FULL BIO

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