This is the latest from The Bluesmobile’s C.C. Rider, who spends her life venerating the founding fathers of the blues. She’s walked the crooked highways of this singing country to resurrect the voices of the past. With the dirt of the Delta on her hands, she sleeps in the shadow of the giants on whose shoulders popular music now stands.
(September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967)
Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer. And one of the greatest voices of all time: Otis Redding.
Raw, powerful, tender—his sound defined a new kind of soul music. While Motown Records released smooth polished numbers, down south at Stax, Otis and his band came out with all the grit lacking up north.
Gritty and emotional. Redding wrote the soundtrack for every broken heart. From his very first hit, “These Arms of Mine” to the last song he ever recorded, the mournful and iconic Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, Otis was known for churning out sad, sad songs. He even had a song called—take a guess—sad song.
All those ballads led one radio disc jockey—a man called Moohah Williams—to dub Otis Redding, “Mr. Pitiful.”
One day, Otis’s guitarist and co-songwriter, Steve Cropper, was in the shower thinkin’ about his pal’s new nickname, when he was struck by an idea. A melodic response to that DJ. Released in ’65, the song became an instant hit. Otis Redding with “Mr. Pitiful.”