By Duchess of Hackney

Hackney livin' n lovin'. Sarky frosty knickers always gobby, and perpetually pissed off for good reasons. Wind up merchant extraordinaire, but a nice old fashioned unusually unusual gal... Writing lots of wrongs.

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The greatness that was Otis Redding


I’m on an Otis Redding kick at the moment.

A few weeks ago I finally got round to watching Two Days in The Valley, which was originally released  in 1996. I mention this because it’s got a pretty good sound track which features “Down in the Valley” by Otis Redding. Since then I have played it constantly along with other tracks. ….it had been a while since I’d dug out my Otis Redding CD’s.

To me Otis Redding was the greatest Soul Singer EVER! His hoarse, gritty voice penetrates your soul to the very core, so much so that when I hear Try A Little Tenderness, all I can do is close my eyes, tilt my head back and get lost in his voice and melody – providing I’m not driving of course.

He left this earth too young (26), way too soon when the small plane carrying he and his band members, were on route to a gig in Madison Wisconsin.  I wonder, what would have become of him. I’ve never read any where  he was into drugs or was an out of control drunk or gambler, in fact Redding had a ton of talent besides singing. He understood the business end of things; started his own label and worked with other Stax label people on writing and production. One of the other entertainers he worked with was Carla Thomas, who had a huge hit on the R&B charts (B-A-B-Y), and done a duet with her – Tramp.

I’d like to think I discovered his music as a child, but although my parents were fans and his music was played at home, I never really appreciated his sound until I was an adult myself.

Oh and I just discovered there is an Otis Redding twitter account, set up by his estate. Website with news on Otis Redding Foundation.

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