Artist > Otis Redding
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an influential American deep soul singer, best known for his passionate delivery and posthumous hit single, "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay." According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame web site, Redding's name is "synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying." In 1962, he made his first real mark in the music business during a Johnny Jenkins session when he recorded "These Arms of Mine," a ballad that Redding had written. The song became a minor hit on Volt Records, a subsidiary of renowned "Southern soul" label Stax, based in Memphis, Tennessee. His manager was fellow Maconite Phil Walden (who later founded Capricorn Records). Otis Redding continued to release for Stax/Volt, and built his fanbase by extensively touring a legendarily electrifying live show with support from fellow Stax artists Sam & Dave. Further hits between 1964 and 1966 included "Mr. Pitiful", "I Can't Turn You Loose" (to become The Blues Brothers entrance theme music), "Try a Little Tenderness" (written by Redding's idol, Sam Cooke), "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (written by the Rolling Stones), and "Respect" (later a smash hit for Aretha Franklin).
Redding wrote many of his own songs, which was unusual for the time, often with Steve Cropper (of Stax house band Booker T. & the M.G.'s, who usually served as Otis' backing band in the studio). Soul singer Jerry Butler (singer)|Jerry Butler co-wrote another hit "I've Been Loving You Too Long". One of his few songs with a significant mainstream following was "Tramp" (1967) with Carla Thomas. Later that year, Redding played at the massively influential Monterey Pop Festival, which helped him to break into the white pop music scene.