Otis Redding

An African American artist in the 1950s and 1960s, Otis Redding was able to enter mainstream music culture and appeal to a wide range of audiences, breaking many barriers. He is perhaps best known for the hit “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” which was released after his untimely death. During his lifetime, he was known for hits like “Try a Little Tenderness.” Many people are unaware that he wrote the song “Respect” which was recorded by Aretha Franklin.  Otis began his career by playing talent shows in Macon, Georgia and soon expanded to touring the U.S. and even Europe. 1967 was a big year for Otis, who played the Monterey Pop Festival. Later in the year, he was killed in a plane crash at age 26, leaving behind a wife and three children. The Otis Redding Foundation, located on Cotton Street, has a mini-museum and leads many philanthropic projects such as music camps for children. By the Ocmulgee River in Gateway Park, a bronze statue of Otis Redding with a guitar welcomes visitors to Macon and is a lasting tribute to the King of Soul.

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