Legends this weekend. The immortal Otis Redding, in concert from Stockholm and recorded by the venerable Sveriges Radio in 1967. It’s been said, and rightly so, that Otis Redding was one of the greatest singers in the history of American Popular Music, and was one of the seminal figures in the genres of Soul and Rhythm & Blues.
That he was only on the planet a scant 26 years before his untimely death in the plane crash, leaves open the speculation of what he would have accomplished, the heights his career would have accomplished, had he lived.
From his electrifying performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 to his string of memorable hits; songs he wrote and performed which have become standards in Pop Music, to his never-waning popularity, some 49 years after his passing, speaks to the incredible popularity of this artist, a popularity that continues to this day.
Otis Redding defined 60s Soul – the gritty urban sound coming from Black America which became popular all over the world – Redding was America in the 1960s – hope, despair, loss, struggle and ultimately joy. And his appeal was universal – as was evidenced by his appearance at Monterey. Redding brought it all to the stage and gave 110%.
If you’ve never heard Otis Redding before (and I can’t imagine you haven’t) or never had the chance to see him in concert, here is a wonderful sampling of that magic.
Sadly, too short at 20 minutes – but crammed with energy and the inimitable power and energy that he brought to a song, this is Otis Redding at his peak.
It’s doubtful we’ll ever hear anyone surpassing his gift – there have been attempts, and some of them laudable. But there is only one Otis Redding, and that can never be disputed.
Crank it up and enjoy – the sound is fantastic and the Swedish engineers did a great job.