DJ Sue

DJ Sue
Welcome to my blog. I’m a DJ in Second Life and I find myself discussing the music I’m playing with many of those in attendance at my shows. Unfortunately, when I am busy DJing, I can’t participate and discuss the music as fully as I would like. I’m hoping this blog can help change that. Look here before my set to see if I might be playing something interesting today or maybe after to see if discussion on a topic might continue. You are invited to join in the conversation and leave comments.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Late Great Otis Redding

Last week, I did a piece on the 27 Club. That was a collection of tragic stories that have become all too common in Rock ‘n’ Roll history. The story of the “King of Soul,” Otis Redding, fits right in there with the rest of them. He was born in a small town in Georgia in 1941 and soon moved to Macon, Georgia. He grew up singing in the church choir and entering talent shows, winning several. In 1962 he recorded These Arms of Mine, which became a minor regional hit on Volt Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records.

The house band at Stax Records was Booker T. and the MG’s, and they often served as Redding’s backing in the studio. His association with Stax was a fortuitous one. One of the movers and shakers at Stax Records was Steve “The Colonel” Cropper who was the guitarist for Booker T. and the MG’s and went on to further fame as one of the Blues Brothers in the studio, appearing in the movie and touring with them. Cropper began corroborating with Redding and he co-wrote Redding’s greatest hit with him (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay. It is the Colonel’s haunting acoustic guitar that opens the tune and resonates throughout the 2:38 of the song. The song was written by Redding while on a house boat he was living on, docked at Sausalito, California, on the shore of San Francisco Bay.

A few days after (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay was recorded, Otis boarded a plane, along with members of his backing band, the Bar-Kays. On December 10, 1967, their Beechcraft 18 crashed into a lake near Madison, Wisconsin. Otis Redding was dead at age 26, one year shy of gaining entrance to the 27 Club I wrote about last week. (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay was released the following January and became Redding’s only number 1 hit on the charts. In fact, it was the first time in history that a record made number 1 posthumously. Redding and the Colonel won a Grammy for the song. Ironically, in my piece on the 27 Club last week, I talked about the Janis Joplin and her death. She was the second one to get a posthumous number1 with her song, Me and Bobby McGee.

Today’s mini set will include the following…
  • Respect - 1965
  • Mr. Pitiful - 1964
  • Tramp (with Carla Thomas) - 1967
  • (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay - 1968
(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay has always been a special tune for me. It has always instilled in me that glorious emotional feeling you get when you just stand and watch a breath taking sunset. I often picture sunsets when I hear this tune. As the whistling begins that closes the number, the final rays of light fade away from the sunset  Just like the final notes ever recorded by this great sign him off, never to record again.

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