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Otis Redding: 50 Years

Otis-redding_600_250 Years ago this weekend, one of the greatest soul singers in history perished in a private plane crash in a winter squall in my town.

It wasn't my town then (that would happen decades later), but, it's my town now.

And, I have lingered on the Otis Redding Memorial bench on the roof of the Monona Terrace Convention Center that looks out over the location where Otis' plane went down. Several times.

Of all the artifacts at Cleveland's incredible Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, I tend to hang longest at the exhibit that showcases the side of his plane's fuselage, painted with Otis' name across it. 

It was so just beginning for this incredible talent. And, in his drive to make a show at the Factory (the only show he ever missed), the world lost an amazing artist.

"Dock of the Bay" would become his biggest hit in the months after his death (even with "placeholders" for future lyrical updates). But, for today's Music Friday, we're going with his last performance, the day before that fateful plane trip to Madison.  

Otis, my man. 

Bill Geist

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