Before his life was cut tragically short by a plane crash in 1967 at the age of 26, soul singer Otis Redding was already on track to becoming a music legend. An electric performance at the Monterey Pop Festival that year had won him a legion of new fans, a just reward for an artist who battled racism in his native Georgia as he strove to make his voice heard. This profile captures the magic of Redding performing live with rare and unseen footage, and includes interviews with Otis' wife Zelma Redding and daughter Karla Redding-Andrews, and original band members Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones. This first-ever television documentary about Otis Redding follows him from childhood and marriage to the Memphis studios and segregated Southern clubs where he honed his unique stage act and voice. Through unseen home movies, the film reveals how Otis's 1967 tour of Britain dramatically changed his life and music. Also featured are British fans whose lives were changed by seeing him, among them Rod Stewart, Tom Jones and Bryan Ferry.
Presenting the music of Otis Redding, who arrived anonymously at 926 E. McLemore Avenue in Memphis– as a chauffeur for another artist – in 1962, and would go on to become an R&B supernova, with a body of work that helped transform Stax from a small record label to a musical institution. Starting with “These Arms of Mine,” which floored Stax owner Jim Stewart when Redding humbly asked to audition on that fateful day, through a host of bona fide soul classics from “Mr Pitiful,” “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” “Security, “Try A Little Tenderness,” and of course the self-penned “Respect,” later immortalized by Aretha Franklin, all included on this collection. The life and career of The Big O tragically ended with a 1967 plane crash, but his legacy was cemented with the posthumous single release, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” a chart topper on both the R&B and pop listings, and a lasting reminder of the true genius of The King Of Soul.
Otis Redding’s third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding’s versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Shake,” are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it’s useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with “Wonderful World,” which is seldom compiled elsewhere.
Remembering Otis will not disappoint! This classic film footage contains Otis Redding's most exciting performances from the Stax Volt tour and Monterey Pop.Otis' breathtaking performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival gave him a new audience.