The Stax Museum of American Soul
Music (click here to hear Redding's music), located at the site of
Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee,
where Redding recorded the songs that captured the hearts of millions,
opened "Otis Redding: from Macon to Memphis - An Exhibit from the
Private Collection of Zelma Redding" Monday, December 10 in
commemoration of Redding's
items on loan from Otis Redding's widow and daughter, Zelma and Karla
Redding-Andrews, the exhibit features a collection of
never-before-shown family photographs taken on the Reddings' 300-acre
ranch outside Macon, Georgia and shows more than Otis Redding the
singer and entertainer. Redding is seen petting his cattle,
holding his son Otis Redding III, pitching hay from his barn, and
engaged in other activities that portray him at home.
rise in the music industry was nothing short of meteoric. He arrived at
Stax Records in 1962 as the driver and equipment handler for Johnny
Jenkins & the Pinetoppers, a band with whom he had occasionally
performed in and around his native Macon. At the end of the evening,
after having asked all day for a chance to sing, Stax Records founder
Jim Stewart and Booker T. & the MGs guitarist and songwriter Steve
Cropper gave him that chance. There in the famed Studio A, when Otis
Redding began singing "These Arms of Mine," the world changed forever.
the next five years, Redding would record hit after hit (“Respect,” ...
“Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay”), take Europe by storm, and enthrall
thousands of love children at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside the
likes of Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane. But the world changed
again that same year, when, on December
10, 1967, Redding, the pilot, and all but two members of his
touring band the Bar-Kays were
killed when his plane crashed in Lake Monona, just a few minutes from
the airport in Madison, Wisconsin, at the age of 26. Only Bar-Kay
trumpet player Ben Cauley survived the crash; fellow Bar-Kay member
James Alexander was on a different, commercial flight.
exhibit is open through April 30, 2008.