Oh baby, are you a “Love Man” (or woman)? If so, tickets are still available for “An Evening of Respect,” tonight’s black-tie tribute to the one, the only Otis Redding. Special guests will include Anthony Hamilton, Estelle, and Eddie Floyd, among others, and will benefit the Redding family’s Big “O” Youth Education Dream Foundation.
Born in Dawson, Georgia and raised in Macon, Redding died forty-two years ago when his band’s airplane crashed into a Wisconsin lake. He was only twenty-six. Even though his demise was early, Redding had already built up a catalog of soul-stirring hits. “Mr. Pitiful.” “Love Man.” “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” “These Arms of Mine.” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” “Hard to Handle.” And my personal favorite, “Try a Little Tenderness.”
When it comes to soul singing, Otis is my man. Sam Cooke and Aretha are right there, but no one does tormented like Otis. Do you agree? While you’re thinking about it, here’s one of the best cinematic tributes to Big “O,” courtesy of the late John Hughes, Jon Cryer, and Pretty in Pink: