Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Today is another music birth anniversary. This one belongs to the greatest soul singer who ever held a microphone (in my opinion), Otis Redding. He was born 79 years ago in Dawson, GA but raised in nearby Macon. He started singing in his church choir when he was a child. By 1956 he was out of school helping to support his family. He entered a local talent show 15 times and won the $5 prize every time. Eventually he joined two vocal groups, first The Upsetters (who backed Little Richard) and then The Pinetoppers (who backed blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins).
In August 1962, after driving Jenkins to Stax Records in Mississippi, Redding met label owner Jim Stewart. He gave Redding a chance to sing during some remaining studio time. The song he recorded was “These Arms Of Mine”. It became a hit and sent Redding on the path to his destiny as one of the most phenomenal performers in music history. Since his death in 1967, his widow, Zelma (co-writer of “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”), his daughter, Karla Redding- Andrews and his two sons, Dexter and Otis III (both music producers & songwriters) continue his legacy through The Otis Redding Foundation. In addition to that, the website lists its mission statement as follows: “To empower, enrich,and motivate all young people through programs involving music, writing and instrumentation”.
Today’s song was the B side to “Just One More Day” in 1965 but became more popular than the A side. If you are a fan of The Blue Brothers, you will recognize today’s song as their introduction music, although in that capacity it is at a faster tempo. But still fabulous, of course.
The link to the song is a performance video. If you have never watched Redding sing, I strongly encourage you to view this and not just listen to the audio. It is two minutes and ten seconds long and worth every single second. To see his energy, his stage presence, his smile, his vibrance, his sheer utter joy of performing is just too grand not to see. His voice was one of a kind and so was the way he absolutely owned any stage he was on. As much as the people in the audience enjoyed watching him, no one had a better time during his shows than Redding himself. And that was another gift he gave us.
“I can’t ever turn you loose now
If I do, I’m gonna lose my life
I can’t turn you loose to nobody
‘Cause I love you baby, yes I do now“.
Otis Redding circa 1965. (Image found online. Original source unknown.)
Otis Redding: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” ( 1965, written by Otis Redding).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.