On This Day

Otis Redding

Singer-Songwriter and Producer Otis Redding

Profession: Singer-Songwriter and Producer

United States of America

Why Famous: Although his life and career were tragically cut short by his death in a plane crash in 1967 aged 26, Otis Redding is still regarded today as one of the most influential soul singers and songwriters.

The son of Georgian sharecroppers, Otis Redding's career was a mere five years but in that time he was able to forge a new more natural stage persona distinct from the more polished Motown and write such classic standards as "Respect" (for Aretha Franklin), "These Arms of Mine" and his own version of "Try A Little Tenderness".

In 1967 he was one of the star performers at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Just before his death he made a series of innovative recording including "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" a huge crossover hit that sold more than 2 million copies and became the first posthumous Billboard No.1 single.

In 2008 Rolling Stone ranked Otis Redding as 8th on their list of Greatest Singers Of All Time.

Born: September 9, 1941
Birthplace: Dawson, Georgia, USA

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Snake
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: December 10, 1967 (aged 26)
Cause of Death: Plane crash

Historical Events

  • 1965-07-07 Otis Redding records "Respect"
  • 1967-06-18 Closing day of the Monterey International Pop Festival, Southern California. First major US appearances of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The WHO and Otis Redding
  • 1967-12-07 Otis Redding records "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay"
  • 1968-03-11 Otis Redding is the first person in the US to posthumously receive gold record for his single "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay"