Follow by Email

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Death of Otis Redding-December, 1967

'The nightly news was on and I made a move to turn it, not wanting to hear any more about the world, when the news anchor made an announcement that had my hand stopping on the dial. “We do have confirmation tonight of the death of R and B singer, Otis Redding. The twenty six year old singer was traveling to a show via a twin engine airplane when the plane crashed into Lake Monoma near Madison, Wisconsin. We go live now to the scene of this tragedy…”'
Otis was tragically killed in a plane crash when he was just twenty-six years old. Six months before his death he was playing at Monterey where Liz got to meet him. She had been a fan since he came out and she adored both the man and his music so when he died, she took it hard. But, because of the chaos going on around her, she had other things to do and this was moved aside so she could worry about her crazy life. I do not know if Otis's death would have been announced on the news like I wrote it but it seemed to work well for the story.
An Article On Otis's Life and Death:

9th September 1941 - 10th December 1967

Widely regarded as the single most influential male soul
artist of the 1960s, Otis Redding was an American artist in his prime when a
plane crash cut short his blossoming career on 10 December, 1967.
He is perhaps best-known for his hit single ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’ which topped music charts all over the globe and won two
Grammy Awards.
Although his career was relatively brief, Mr Redding’s catalogue of work at the time of his death was huge and record labels continued to release
material for decades after.
His name now synonymous with soul music, he was inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Otis Ray Redding Junior was born on 9 September, 1941, in
Georgia, USA. He grew up singing in his local church choir and became something
of a neighbourhood celebrity after winning a Sunday night talent show 15 weeks
in a row.
Dropping out of Ballad Hudson High School in the 10th grade,
he began touring with blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins in 1960 and made his first
recordings that same year with his group ‘Otis and The Shooters’.
In 1962 Mr Redding recorded ‘These Arms of Mine’ with Volt
Records which became a minor hit. Further releases including ‘Mr Pitiful’ and
‘Respect’, as well as legendary live shows, slowly engendered a loyal following
and 1965’s ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)’ broke him into the
He wrote many of his own songs, unusual for the time, and
toured extensively with Booker T. and the M.G.’s during the mid-1960s,
particularly in Europe where he developed a greater initial fan-base than in
the USA.
1965 also saw further hits with ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’ and
‘My Girl’. His appearance at the influential Monterey International Pop Music
Festival that same year helped gain him widespread recognition as the voice of
Aretha Franklin had a hit in 1967 with the groundbreaking
‘Respect’, a song written and originally recorded by Redding.
He recorded his infamous hit ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the
Bay only three days prior to his death. Although it ultimately became his
biggest hit, it actually marked a significant stylistic departure from most of
his other work.
Mr Redding’s death came on 10 December, 1967 when, along with
six members of his backing band ‘The Bar-Kays’, he was killed when their plane crashed
into Lake Manona in Wisconsin, USA. He was only 26.
At his funeral around a week later around 4,500 mourners crowded
Macon’s City Auditorium to pay tribute to a musical legend whose music lives on.
Four months after his death he would achieve his first ever
American number one with the previously recorded ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the
The whistling at the end of the song was purportedly
improvised on the spot after Mr Redding forgot the words.
In 1999 he posthumously received the Grammy Lifetime
Achievement Award and 2002 saw the unveiling of a memorial statue in Macon’s
Gateway Park.


  1. "Poor Otis dead and gone,
    Left me here to sing this song.
    Pretty little girl with a red dress on.
    Poor Otis dead and gone..."

  2. One of the goofiest Doors songs ever made...but I can't help but like it. haha