*On Saturday, September 10th, in Macon, GA, the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation will celebrate the 70th birthday of the immortal Otis Redding with a star-studded musical tribute, it was announced today by Zelma Redding, founder of the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation. In addition to celebrating Otis’ 70th birthday, which is on September 9th, the evening will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first recording, “These Arms of Mine.”
Otis Redding was an international star known for hits including “RESPECT,” “Mr. Pitiful” and his biggest hit, “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay.” He began his solo career at Stax Records in 1959 when founders Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton signed him. Stax was distributed by Atlantic Records where he remained until his untimely death in 1967.
Steve Cropper was the first person to hear Otis’ incredible voice when he came to Stax as a driver for Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers. This lead to a long collaboration between Otis and Cropper. Cropper was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and is number 36 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list.
An Evening of Respect, which will be held at the Macon Auditorium, will feature performances and appearances from a host of entertainers and celebrity guests including Redding’s sons Dexter and Otis Redding III, Lil John and the Penthouse Players from “The Mo’Nique Show” and Jimmy Hall, formerly of “Wet Willie.” Musiq Soulchild, Timothy Bloom, Ken Ford and Steve Cropper will be performing selections from their own catalogues as well as an Otis Redding Classic. The evening will also include a photo exhibition from the archives of Stax Records.
“The Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation was founded to fulfill Otis’ dream to enrich the lives of young people by enabling them to continue their education through the many programs that we support,” stated Zelma Redding. “This is our fourth ‘An Evening of Respect’ and we are excited about celebrating Otis’ 70th birthday in the city he loved, Macon. We are honored to share this very special ‘An Evening of Respect’ with Stax Records, Atlantic Records and Steve Cropper.”
About the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation
The Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation’s mission is to empower and enlighten youth to remain confident and motivated through programs related to music and the arts. The foundation was a significant dream Otis had to encourage young people to stay in school. He had already developed programs to be held at the family ranch where we invited people from all aspects of the music industry to lecture on the importance of education and learning. Our theme is Progress Through Education/Enlightenment Through Music.
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Karen E. Lee