Otis Redding

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Otis Redding Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £20.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £15.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


Last update : 28/07/19

Impetuosity killed Buddy Holly. Weary of life on the road – especially the bleak US mid-winter conditions – he would opt to charter a private plane and leave the tour bus behind. What would follow is now part of rock’n‘roll folklore.

More than eight years later, soul singer Otis Redding would go one step further, acquiring his own plane to make touring less hectic, but the twin-engine Beechcraft H18 would prove his fatal undoing. At around 3:30 p.m. on a foggy Sunday afternoon, December 10, 1967, the plane, which encountered a storm en route from Cleveland to a concert in Madison, plunged into the frigid depths of Lake Monona. Redding, 26, and four members of his Bar-Kays band were killed. The musicians were headed to The Factory nightclub, scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m.

The real curiosity of his career was a chart life of no real consequence – none of Redding’s singles fared better than #21 on the pop Top Forty – allied to immense respect and widespread acceptance of his songwriting credentials amongst the biggest names of his era. At the time of his death, and with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” safely in the can, he had just replaced Elvis as the world’s top male vocalist in the Melody Maker poll, a position Presley had held for eight years.

The Memphis sound was going to take over soul in 1968. Everyone knew it, and Otis was the front man at Stax. One tragic incident, and the Crown Prince of Soul would be gone.



Recommended listening

Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965)

Redding’s third album – recorded in a single day with Isaac Hayes on keyboards, Steve Cropper on guitar the cream of the Stax crop and the Mar-Keys horns – redefines combustible spontaneity. Standing at the crossroads of pop, rock, gospel, blues and soul, it’s a set of short, punchy covers and originals, flawlessly ordered to ebb and flow between stirring balladry and foot stomping exuberance.

Including three covers of Sam Cooke material, Otis is at his raw and pleading best on “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “Respect” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Returning the compliment in the direction of those young english r’n‘b disciples, Redding tackles jagger/Richard’s “Satisfaction,” with verve and gusto, ad-libbing throughout,

‘Otis Blue,’ – his first number one hit album in the US soul charts and a huge commercial and critical success, remains a gutsy, visceral affair and Redding’s definitive statement. Check out the reissued multiple mono/stereo reissue with bonus tracks. ‘Shit hot’s not the word for it.

Now, just who was that gorgeous blonde on the front cover?


Recommended reading

Otis Redding - An Unfinished life (Jonathan Gould) 2017

Reading Gould’s well researched biography – published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding’s appearance at the Monterey festival – I was struck by how little known he was at the time of his death. Rock journalism hadn’t truly taken off; Otis’only substantial print interview had run in the fan magazine Hit Parader and the legendary first issue of Rolling Stone would debut just a month before his death. The lack of first-person source material and the brevity of Redding’s life invites Gould to go long on context, and the results are sparkling.

The tragedy of his demise was that it should come just as he was successfully embarking on phase two of his career; a change in his vocal style brought on by polyps and successful surgery to remove them. As Gould recounts on page 424, Otis had been voted Top Male Singer in the September 1967 Melody Maker Annual Poll, a fitting testament to his burgeoning popularity in Great Britain. In November, five weeks after his operation, he had starting vocalising again, block booking studio time at Stax. It was during these sessions that Otis cut “The Dock of the Bay,” complete with improvised sub standard whistling when he forgot the lyrics to the last verse. It mattered not one jot, specially to Ron Capone who was doubling that evening by playing drums and manning the board. There was magic in the air and everyone knew it.


Otis Redding - The King of Soul