Music Monday: September 19, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

September 9 marked the 81st birth anniversary for The King Of Soul. Otis Ray Redding Jr. was born in 1941 in Dawson, Georgia and lived in that state for his entire all too brief life. Like many soul and R&B artists, he started his career singing in church when he was a child. By the age of 17 he had already won numerous local talent shows and became a member of Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers.

In 1962 Redding drove Jenkins to Stax Records in Memphis to record a few songs. His session ended early so Redding was given that time to record some of his own tracks by none other than Jim Stewart, one of the owners of Stax. The rest of the story involves five incredibly short but unbelievably powerful years that would account for Redding’s entire career. And what an outstanding one it was.

If you are not already a fan, I suggest you find any of his performances from the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival on YouTube and watch them. I promise it will bot only change your mind, but your life as well. The energy, the passion, the soul, the presence, the unmitigated joy this man experienced on a stage was unmatched. That is why he remains a legend in every sense of the word.

Today’s song holds the number two spot on my top ten list of favorite songs of all time. The album of the same name was released in February 1968, a mere two & a half months after his death. But it changed music forever, as did Redding himself.

Look like nothin’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same”.

Otis circa 1965

Otis Redding circa 1965. (Image courtesy of otisredding.com. Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” (1968, written by Steve Cropper and Otis Redding).

Stay safe and well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 177

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?

Bruce quote

(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

  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.

Stay well.