Rock Hall will honor Otis Redding's 70th birthday with a spotlight exhibit and film screening

Tuesday, August 30: 3:16 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Otis Redding

Though his career was relatively brief, Otis Redding was a singer of such commanding stature that to this day he embodies the essence of soul music in its purist form. His name is synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying up until his death in 1967. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the life and music of Redding, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee, with an exhibit and film screening. Redding would have been 70 on September 9. That day, the Hall of Fame will unveil a spotlight exhibit with more than 20 artifacts in the Ahmet M. Ertegun Main Exhibit Hall. On Wednesday, September 7, the Museum will screen the film Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding.

In honor of Otis Redding’s legacy and to support the Rock Hall’s mission, his widow Zelma Redding will donate a portion of her husband’s papers to the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives. These will include contracts, correspondence, photographs, receipts and sheet music.  The Library and Archives will be the world’s preeminent research collection of written and audiovisual materials relating to the history of rock and roll. It will open to the public in early 2012.

In addition, Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, is Co-Chair of Otis Redding’s 70th Birthday Celebration Weekend and will be traveling to Macon, Georgia, for the festivities.

Schedule of events in honor of Otis Redding’s 70th Birthday at the Rock Hall:

Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m. in the Foster Theater:
Screening of Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding. This event is FREE with a reservation. Seating is limited. Please email or call (216) 515-8426 to RSVP.

Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding features 16 complete performances filmed throughout America and Europe showcasing why Otis is considered one of the greatest soul singers of all time.  Interspersed between the songs are 40 minutes of interviews filmed exclusively for this DVD with Steve Cropper (Booker T. and the MGs), Jim Stewart (founder of Stax Records), Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns), and Otis Redding’s widow Zelma.  The film includes staggering versions of “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Respect,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Try a Little Tenderness” (filmed the day before Otis’ tragic death) and more, all in re-mastered sound and video. Produced by Reelin’ in the Years Productions, this 90-minute film is the first full-length program to commemorate the legacy of Otis Redding and paints a stirring portrait of an artist whose music remains as powerful and influential as it was 40 years ago.

Friday, September 9 beginning at 10 a.m. in the Main Exhibit Hall: 
Spotlight exhibit featuring more than 20 artifacts representing Otis Redding’s career.

Highlights include:

  • Promotional poster announcing the release of Otis Redding’s original version of “Respect,” 1965
  • Master tape box for the recording of “You Left the Water Running”
  • Sweater worn on stage


Stay tuned for artifact and exhibit installation photos coming next week!


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