Happy Birthday Otis Redding: Covering The King Of Soul
By Andy Kahn Sep 9, 2019 • 2:17 pm PDT
Renowned soul singer Otis Redding was born on this date in Dawson, Georgia in 1941. In his short lifetime, Redding created an enduring legacy through the recordings he made that captured his outstandingly brilliant vocal capabilities. Just 26-years-old when a plane crash took Redding’s life in 1967, the brief output and resulting timeless catalog of live and studio recordings gave him a permanent claim to the title of The King Of Soul.
Redding’s singular voice skills are what place him at or near the top of all-time great singers. Not to be overlooked are the songs for which he received credit or co-credit for writing. Redding was responsible for the composition of many of his best-known songs. He co-wrote “Hard To Handle” with Al Bell and Allen Jones, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” with Jerry Butler and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. Redding also wrote the now classics, “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “Respect.”
Below are live renditions of each of the above-mentioned Redding-written songs. While The Black Crowes may be best associated with “Hard To Handle,” the Grateful Dead can be seen covering the song in 1971, a few years after its original release. Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose” became a theme song of sorts for The Blues Brothers who can be seen playing it live (while opening for the Dead) in 1978. The Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin laid claim to “Respect” not long after its release and she can be seen performing it live in 1971. Cropper appears with Pearl Jam in 1994 on “Dock Of The Bay” and The Allman Brothers Band, led by Warren Haynes and joined by the Juke Horns, cover “I’ve Been Love You Too Long” in 2013.
Watch the covers below: