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Otis Redding's Last Day in Cleveland

Friday, December 9: 4 p.m.
Otis Redding

December 9, 1967 was a busy day for Otis Redding. The first stop on his winter tour was Cleveland, Ohio, where he was scheduled to appear on the locally produced, nationally syndicated (in 98 markets around the country) television show Upbeat, as well as perform two concerts at legendary nightclub Leo’s Casino. The singer was eager to get back on the road after a three-month break recovering from surgery for throat polyps. He had just recorded what was to become the biggest and most enduring hit of his career, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” Redding started that Saturday at the WEWS studios at 30th and Euclid Avenue for Upbeat rehearsals. Upbeat host Don Webster recalled on the website clevelandseniors.com that typically the show would be rehearsed from about 9 am until noon, working on the technical aspects like blocking and lighting. After that, the production team and talent would break for lunch and come back at 1 pm to do the taping. It would take two to three hours to tape the one-hour show. That show was broadcast at 5 pm, the same day of the taping. Webster never did a lot of pre-interviewing, feeling that ...


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Celebrating the Life of Otis Redding

Friday, September 9: 1 p.m.
Otis Redding

Otis Redding would have celebrated his 70th birthday today, so we're delighted that the opening of the Rock Hall’s Otis Redding exhibit coincides with and commemorates his birth and remarkable life. The spotlight exhibit allows Redding's life and legacy to shine through with a collection of treasured personal effects and career mementos.

Otis Redding’s life and music embodied the essence of soul. He was a self-professed country boy from Macon, Georgia, and he had it all: a big, gravelly voice, an immense gift for songwriting and a generous, hardworking disposition. There was earthiness and candor in his every performance, be it slow, soulful ballads like “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Try a Little Tenderness” or fast-paced numbers like “Respect” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” Producer Jerry Wexler said of Redding’s performances, “You could feel this plea coming from him.” Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T. and the MG’s recalled: “Otis would come in, and boy, he’d just bring everybody up. ‘Cause you knew something was gonna be different. When Otis was there, it was just revitalization of the whole thing. You wanted to play with Otis. He ...


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Rock Hall will honor Otis Redding's 70th birthday with a spotlight exhibit and film screening

Tuesday, August 30: 3:16 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Otis Redding

Though his career was relatively brief, Otis Redding was a singer of such commanding stature that to this day he embodies the essence of soul music in its purist form. His name is synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying up until his death in 1967. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the life and music of Redding, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee, with an exhibit and film screening. Redding would have been 70 on September 9. That day, the Hall of Fame will unveil a spotlight exhibit with more than 20 artifacts in the Ahmet M. Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall. On Wednesday, September 7, the Museum will screen the film Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding.

In honor of Otis Redding’s legacy and to support the Rock Hall’s mission, his widow Zelma Redding will donate a portion of her husband’s papers to the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives. These will include contracts, correspondence, photographs, receipts and sheet music.  The Library and Archives will ...


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