September 9th in African American History – Otis Ray Redding, Jr.

Otis Ray Redding, Jr.

Otis Ray Redding, Jr.

September 9, 1941 Otis Ray Redding, Jr., singer and songwriter, was born in Dawson, Georgia.

Redding grew up in Macon, Georgia where he sang in the church choir and won the local talent show 15 weeks in a row. In 1960, Redding began to tour the South and in 1962 recorded “These Arms of Mine”, which he had written.

Between 1964 and 1966, recorded a number of hits, including “Respect” (1965), “Satisfaction” (1965), and “Try a Little Tenderness” (1966). His biggest hit, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”, was recorded three days before his death in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. Between 1968 and 1970, three additional albums of material recorded prior to his death were released.

In 1993, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor. In 1994, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1999 he was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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