This Day in Black History: Sept. 9, 1941

Otis Redding, songwriter and record producer, was born.

Posted: 09/09/2012 09:16 AM EDT
Songwriter Otis Redding was born.

(Photo: Stax Recording)

Otis Ray Redding Jr., a dynamic singer and songwriter, was one of the major figures in Black popular music of the 1960s. Redding was born and raised in Dawson, Georgia. At age 15, he left school to support his family by working with Little Richard's backing band, the Upsetters, and by playing talent shows for prize money. He signed a contract with Stax Records and released his debut album, Pain in My Heart, in 1964. This album produced his first Stax single, "These Arms of Mine." Although Redding's initial popularity was with African-Americans, he later became equally popular among the broader American public. Redding died in 1967 in an airplane crash in Wisconsin on his way to an singing engagement. Shortly before his death, he recorded "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" with Steve Cropper, which became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.


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