Albums like Otis Blue, The Dictionary of Soul, and The Soul Album were intensely passionate with emotional and arousing songs performed in his own unique style. These albums set the standard for those artists of the day and those that followed, influencing artists such as Willie Nelson, The Grateful Dead, The Black Crowes, Rod Stewart and many others.
As well as his voice and commanding stage presence he was a talented songwriter and musical arranger and was known as a hard-worker. His major musical influences were Little Richard and Sam Cooke many whose songs he covered. He also made an impressive cover version of The Rolling Stones song, Satisfaction. Redding also wrote and performed the song Respect which was famously covered by Aretha Franklin.
Other popular Redding numbers include My Girl and I’ve Been Loving You Too Long, and his greatest hit was (Sittin’ on) The Dock Of The Bay, which he recorded just a few days before he died in a plane crash in 1967.
Redding had been singing with Johnny Jenkins a guitarist and his band The Pinetoppers and had recorded with them on the Confederate label and later in Memphis with Stax Records in 19 62. At the end of one recording session with Stax he was given the chance to record These Arms of Mine, a ballad he had written himself. He went on to become one of the stars with Stax, recording with Booker T and the MGs and working closely with guitarist Steve Cropper.
Redding could also play guitar and actively involved himself in the arrangement of his songs and was popular with the other musicians he worked with and seen very much as an inspirational and motivating figure.
Although from 1965 until 1967 he was consistently in the R&B Charts with the single Mr Pitiful making a Top Ten appearance his other records never bettered 21, until (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was released after his death and then went on to top the charts for four weeks in 1968. This song showed influences from pop, soul and folk drawing from the new influential artists of the day such as Bob Dylan.