Otis Redding
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Shake: Live at Monterey Pop
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I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now): Live at Monterey Pop
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(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
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     In the spring of 1967 Otis Redding and other Stax stars left for the Stax-Volt Revue tour of Europe, which became a validation of Redding's success, according to author Rob Bowman. The audiences loved him, and the tour made him a star in Europe. Wayne Jackson said, "When Otis got through with them it was total chaos. People were weeping, gnashing their teeth, screaming and jumping up and down." In October 1967, the London magazine "Melody Maker" awarded Redding the International Male Vocalist of the Year, a position held for the previous 10 years by Elvis Presley.
     Redding's career reached a peak in June 1967 when he performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Called the festival's "sole soul," by author Ed Ward, Redding was the final performer in the three-day concert. It was the largest audience of his career, and his wife Zelma said, "I've never seen Otis so excited or proud. He said, 'It's gonna put my career up some more. I think I'm gonna reach an audience that I've never had before.'" Redding and his band showed up in matching lime-green suits after the Jefferson Airplane as people were starting to leave, but Redding stopped them with his energetic performance, and they stayed and gave him a standing ovation. For the pop audience, author Gerri Hirshey said, the "Monterey appearance has been likened to the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls." Jerry Wexler, executive at Atlantic Records, said, "Otis Redding was responsible for the fact that so much of the young white audience dug Soul the way the black does."
     After taking two months off to have throat surgery, Redding came back with strong determination to record, and in late November and early December he put out four LPs and a Christmas single. Other artists were taking note; Janis Joplin, who said she learned from Otis "to push a song instead of just sliding over it," was a fan, and Bob Dylan went to see him perform four nights in a row.
     In early December Redding recorded what was to become his crossover hit. Written in Sausalito, California while sitting for hours on a houseboat replaying the Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was Redding's pop masterpiece, signaling his creative development as an artist. Some called the record "too pop," a sellout to his soul roots, but it became Redding's best known and only number one song.

Site created by Kristina Jackson, 2001: krisjack@ufl.edu
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