Appreciating all that makes America special

“Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul” Album

Otis Redding Blue,

Otis Redding recorded for Stax out of Memphis rather than Motown. If he hadn't died, Stax might have exceeded its Northern rival. Uploaded by

I think the honor of America’s greatest R&B singer probably belongs to Marvin Gaye. But who’s the runner-up? Maybe Sam Cooke. Or Smokey Robinson. But my vote goes to the man who died way before we could fully appreciate his talent – Otis Redding. And Otis Blue is probably his finest album.

Otis Blue,

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Redding didn’t record for Motown, which created a handicap for promoting his talents. Everyone knew the Motown artists. But Redding recorded for Stax Records out of Memphis, and he helped bring the Southern soul sound to the mainstream. Otis Blue features two of his classic songs, “Respect” (which he wrote, you’re welcome Aretha) and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Redding also brought his touch to covers of such songs as “Satisfaction,” “A Change Gonna Come,” and “My Girl.

Legends Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, and Isaac Hayes played on the album, which made it to number one on the R&B chart. Rolling Stone ranked it number 74 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and it was number 92 on Time magazine’s All-Time 100 Greatest Albums.

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