Tunesday: Otis Redding

About a month ago, I decided to start a weekly segment entitled "Tunesday" (clever, eh?) dedicated to featuring musical artists and bands. Music has a captivating, nostalgic factor for me, an allure that goes back to my childhood where my dad blasted his favorite bands (specifically the Beach Boys) on road trips. I inherited my love of music from him, and though I long to one day conjure up a song of my own, I can appreciate one who is gifted at his or her craft.

These talented folks are either people that I admire, people that I connect with lyrically and mentally, and/or people that have made a heavy impact not only from my personal listening but on the music front as a whole. Here, I will feature friends, underground musicians, mainstream artists, actors and actresses from classic musicals--no holds barred.
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This week, I'm posting about the late Otis Redding. I remember the first time I ever heard an Otis Redding song:  I was around 5 or 6 years old, and my mom was watching the 80s cult classic Pretty in Pink.  Being such a young age, I couldn't readily identify most of the soundtrack artists (the only musicians I really knew about were Bob Dylan, The Backstreet Boys, and The Beach Boys), but I found myself entranced by Duckie's dance scene in Trax right before Andi's big date with douchey Richie McRicherson. (If you ever get a chance, you should research what Hughes had in mind for the original ending. MUCH better than what actually happened.)

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Moving forward, or I guess I could say backward, I was blown away not only by cutie Duckie's dance moves, but by the singer of the song. I'd never really known someone to sing that way except for on the oldies stations that my parents played on occasion en route to the store. I thought it was the coolest sounding man I'd ever heard, and my appreciation for the legendary Mr. Redding has only grown stronger with my age.
 

(Chris Brown did some really shotty version of this song recently; if you care about Otis at all, don't listen to that horrendous cover. Please.)
 
I was lucky enough to find one of Redding's albums on vinyl at the local flea market for only $6, and it has not left my record player since that purchase. Even only with five years in the business, he was noted as one of the soul icons of the '60s; his black southern heritage combined with his prodigal composing brilliance brought out the most emotion-drenched, rock 'n roll church-style music ever created. Otis Redding died at the young age of 26 (That's only three years older than me, by the way.) in a plane crash, and I always wonder, much like with Marvin Gaye or Tupac, what more he would have contributed to the music world had he not gone before his time.
 
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Love, KiKi

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