I don’t remember when I stumbled on my father’s Otis Redding records. Probably some time in junior high. I think he had Dock of the Bay and The Immortal Otis Redding, both of them virtually scratched to hell like most of his records were. “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” was okay, but “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” is the song the made me take notice.
My brother eventually bought some double album collections of Otis’s big hits and rare tracks, and that knocked me out too. Songs like “Good to Me,” “Down in the Valley,” “A Change is Gonna Come,” “These Arms of Mine,” “Mary’s Little Lamb,” “Hawg for You” — those songs overflow with soul. It’s surreal to listen to his voice and realize he died when he was only 26. Twenty-six! Jesus.