Otis Reding, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson helped shaped the sound that we all enjoy today in all genres of music. These men influenced the sound that we have embraced by using the tenets of the things they learned in church gospels.
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American soul singer-songwriter and record producer. Born in Dawson and later moved to Macon, he began touring with blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins and served as the lead singer in the band “Otis Redding and The Pinetoppers.” He signed a contract with recording label Stax Records and released his debut album Pain in My Heart. This album produced several successful singles, including “These Arms of Mine,” which peaked at number 20 on the R&B Billboard chart and at number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
His earliest influence was Little Richard (Richard Penniman),also a Macon resident. Redding said, “If it hadn’t been for Little Richard, I would not be here. I entered the music business because of Richard – he is my inspiration. I used to sing like Little Richard, his Rock ‘n’ Roll stuff, you know. Richard has soul, too. My present music has a lot of him in it.”
Here is Otis Live in 1967