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 542

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?

blog Sept 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

We have yet another rock & roll birthday to celebrate today. Ironically as was the case with the last two artists featured here, this man also died in a plane crash, eight years after Buddy Holly & four years after Patsy Cline. Like her he left behind a young family and like Holly, this year also marks a milestone birth anniversary year. The King of Soul, Otis Redding, was born 80 years ago today on September 9, 1941 in Dawson, GA. His voice is one of the ones I love most in the universe.

The first album I bought by him was Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul which was originally released Sept 15, 1965. But unlike all the other LP’s I ever bought, I could not listen to this one all the way through in one sitting. In fact, It took me days to get through all 11 songs. I just had to hear each track at least a dozen times before I felt I could move on to the next one. And then the same thing would happen all over again.

I had never heard anyone sing with such raw aching unabashed emotion before in my life. He sang of such heartache and pain that every note was like live or die for this beautiful man. I could not help but hurt right along with him while also praying I would someday know what that type of all consuming love felt like.

The album included Redding’s original version of “Respect” along with covers of The Temptations’ “My Girl”, The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” & three Sam Cooke songs. But today’s track was written by William Bell who was another singer on the Stax Label with Redding. It showcases his signature angst ridden soul & leaves you wondering how he will ever get through such immense pain. Redding sang like he had lived 100 lifetimes when in reality he barely lived one. But how he spent his 26 years on this earth is what keeps him alive over five decades later.

I sit here and wonder
How in the world this could be, my oh my
I never thought, oh, I never thought
You’d ever leave me
“.

Otis

Redding family

Top: Otis Redding circa 1967. Bottom: Redding’s family circa 2017 (L-R): Daughter Karla Redding-Andrews, wife Zelma (who never remarried), sons Dexter and Otis III. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Otis Redding: “You Don’t Miss Your Water” (1965, written by William Bell).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.