Otis Redding was the King of Soul, a vocal powerhouse who had an enormous influence on the soul sound of the 1960s. A prolific songwriter, he began writing all his own songs by the middle of his career, creating intricate arrangements for the horn section as well as lyrics and music. His songs remain vital parts of the rhythm and blues canon, especially the classics “Respect” and “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” Redding was only 26 when he died in a plane crash, along with five members of his backing band. We remember Redding’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1946: Bruce Palmer, Canadian bassist with the Buffalo Springfield, is born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
1941: Otis Redding, U.S. singer-songwriter whose hits include “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” and “Try a Little Tenderness,” is born in Dawson, Georgia.
No songs have been written about the plane that crashed into Wisconsin’s frigid Lake Monona Dec. 10, 1967. The date isn’t observed with a yearly concert like the one to remember the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, who died Feb. 3, 1959. Dec. 10, 1967, doesn’t occupy the place in the hearts and minds of pop culture lovers that the Clear Lake, Iowa, crash has. But five musicians lost their lives that December day, and one of them had a talent that easily rivaled any of the three rockers above. He was Otis Redding. Read more
1941: Dennis Ritchie, U.S. computer programmer who created the C programming language, is born in Bronxville, New York.
1940: Joe Negroni, U.S. singer who was a member of the early rock ‘n’ roll group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, is born in New York, New York.
1927: Elvin Jones, U.S. jazz drummer who was a member of John Coltrane’s quartet, is born in Pontiac, Michigan.
1924: Jane Greer, U.S. actress who starred in the film noir “Out of the Past,” is born in Washington, D.C.
Robertson never elevated into the top ranks of leading men, but he remained a popular actor from the mid-1950s into the following century. His later roles included kindly Uncle Ben in the “Spider-Man” movies. He also gained attention for his second marriage to actress and heiress Dina Merrill, daughter of financier E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune and one of the world’s richest women. Read more
1918: Jimmy Snyder, U.S. sportscaster and bookmaker known better as Jimmy the Greek, who made frequent appearances on “The NFL Today” to predict game outcomes, is born in Steubenville, Ohio.
1911: Paul Goodman, U.S. author whose books include “Growing Up Absurd,” is born in New York, New York.
1899: Neil Hamilton, U.S. actor who played Commissioner Gordon on the 1960s “Batman” TV series, is born in Lynn, Massachusetts.
1890: Colonel Harland Sanders, U.S. businessman who founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, is born in Henryville, Indiana.
1828: Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist well-known for books including “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” is born in Yasnaya Polyana, Russian Empire.