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Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Crown 2017
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Description
The long-awaited, definitive biography of The King of Soul, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding's iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own. As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967.   In Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, Jonathan Gould finally does justice to Redding’s incomparable musical artistry, drawing on exhaustive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources of information to present the first comprehensive portrait of the singer’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career. In chronicling the story of Redding’s life and music, Gould also presents a social history of the time and place from which they emerged.  His book never lets us forget that the boundaries between black and white in popular music were becoming porous during the years when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States. His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America that resonates strongly with the present day.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/16/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307453969
ASIN:
B01KUDAABU
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jonathan Gould. (2017). Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jonathan Gould. 2017. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jonathan Gould, Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life. Crown, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jonathan Gould. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life. Crown, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:20:11
Date Updated:
Nov 22, 2020 02:57:56
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title
Otis Redding
fullDescription
The long-awaited, definitive biography of The King of Soul, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding's iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own. As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967.
 
In Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, Jonathan Gould finally does justice to Redding’s incomparable musical artistry, drawing on exhaustive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources of information to present the first comprehensive portrait of the singer’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career.
In chronicling the story of Redding’s life and music, Gould also presents a social history of the time and place from which they emerged.  His book never lets us forget that the boundaries between black and white in popular music were becoming porous during the years when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States. His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America that resonates strongly with the present day.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 10, 2017
        Drawing on interviews with Otis Redding’s widow, Zelma, as well as interviews with Redding’s family, friends, and musical associates, Gould (Can’t Buy Me Love) brings tedious detail to the well-known story of Redding’s life and music. Gould begins with a tour of Southern history to illustrate, unsurprisingly, that Redding’s music reached across racial borders in a racially divided world. When Gould focuses on Redding’s music, the book comes alive, and he traces that music year by year from the singer’s early gospel influences, his early emulation of Little Richard, and his association with manager Phil Walden to his rise to fame at Stax, his energetic shows at the Apollo and the Fillmore West, and his career-defining show at Monterey Pop a few months before his death. Despite Redding’s growing popularity, his ambition, and the raw power he displayed onstage, he frequently displayed insecurity about his own abilities; Gould points out that the singer’s refusal to record his own version of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman” illustrates not only Redding’s insistence that lyrics didn’t matter but also his defensiveness and anxiety. Gould’s often exhausting study, never sure whether it wants to be music history, social history, or biography, treads over territory already well covered by others.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2017
        A music biography with the depth to do its subject justice.Otis Redding (1941-1967) ranks high in the pantheon of 1960s musical luminaries, so it's fitting that this biography ranks equally high among such work focusing on popular musical artists. With full cooperation from Redding's widow and family, along with many involved in his management, his music, and his recording and touring career, Gould (Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America, 2007), a former professional musician, illuminates the life and work of an artist who flourished during an era when the mainstream press gave scant attention to soul singers and the emerging rock press was just beginning to come to terms with Redding's music. In fact, following the plane crash that took the life of the 26-year-old in December 1967, "Otis's death inspired an outpouring of publicity that far exceeded the sum of what was written about him during his life." Gould also provides deep context regarding the racial relations and politics that informed Redding's progression from high school dropout and Little Richard imitator to the artist whose achievement gave Stax Records its distinctive identity and whose galvanizing performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival suggested even greater things to come. Rock impresario Bill Graham, who presented Redding for the rock crowd at his Fillmore West, said "in terms of all the people I've seen on stage since then...[Otis] hasn't been equaled. There's nothing close." Yet just months after his coronation at Monterey, Redding was dead, a victim of wintry Midwest conditions and an inexperienced pilot. He left behind a posthumous masterpiece, "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay," that sounded like nothing he had previously recorded and seemed to indicate not only artistic growth, but a change in direction. Better late than never, the soul master receives his considerable due in this superbly researched and written biography.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from April 15, 2017

        In this long-overdue work, musician and author Gould (Can't Buy Me Love) scores a big hit of his own with an excellent and definitive biography of Sixties soul icon Otis Redding (1941-67). A master storyteller, Gould tackles Redding's life by planting his flag firmly at the crossroads of individual genius and social and cultural context. From his roots as the son of a Georgia sharecropper through his early gospel performances and into stardom at Stax Records, Redding's trajectory would take him to the top of the charts, surrounded by the most famous entertainers of the age. His performances culminated in a historic Saturday night closing set at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Six months later, he would perish in a plane crash. One month after that, "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" would be released and become the first posthumous No. 1 single in U.S. music chart history. The artist left us way too soon; Gould's fabulous portrait brings him back to life. VERDICT Finally, a book that provides Redding with the "Respect" he richly deserves. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/16.]--Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        March 15, 2017
        There have been several biographies of the great soul singer and composer Redding, including Mark Ribowsky's notable Dreams to Remember (2015), but this one makes its own contribution. As he did with the Beatles in his acclaimed Can't Buy Me Love (2007), Gould puts Redding's life into its social and political context, seeing the intersection of the man, the times, the church, race, and gospel music as paramount and offering a nuanced and well-researched examination of all these factors as they played out in the midcentury South. Throw in a capable survey of influencesLouis Jordan, Little Richard (like Redding, a native of Macon, Georgia), and, somewhat later, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and James Brown. The more mature Redding, Gould points out, took advantage of these precursors' traits and supplemented them with his own style and enormous talent. Redding's own story gets a bit lost in Gould's emphasis on the history and the music (Ribowsky is better on the personal side), but this account still belongs in the hands of anyone who cares about soul music in the sixties.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
The long-awaited, definitive biography of The King of Soul, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding's iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own. As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967.
 
In Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, Jonathan Gould finally does justice...
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