Friday, December 10, 2010

Sittin' here resting my bones

A plane crash in Wisconsin killed soul singer Otis Redding on this day in 1967.

Redding and six others, including four of the six members of Redding's backup band, The Bar-Kays, were killed when the plane crashed into Lake Monona in Madison. The two remaining members of The Bar-Kays were Ben Cauley and James Alexander. Cauley was the only person aboard Redding's plane to survive the crash; Alexander was on another plane.

Redding's body was recovered the next day; footage exists of his body being pulled from the water. The cause of the crash was never precisely determined.

"(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" was recorded only three days prior to Redding's death. It was released the next month and became his first #1 single and first million-seller.

Redding was 26 years old at the time of his death. He was laid to rest in a tomb on his private ranch in Round Oak, Georgia. In 2002, the city of Macon honored its native son, unveiling a memorial statue of Redding in the city's Gateway Park.

In 1999, Redding received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Redding #21 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.