I’ve mentioned before that one of the benefits of this replay project is the discovering of new music. My 1966 replay introduced me to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds in its entirety; 1967 introduced me to Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow and Moby Grape. No new discoveries to report for 1968 as of yet. I am currently reading Rob Kirkpatrick’s 1969: The Year Everything Changed. I just finished a chapter covering the new music of that year: the precursor of punk rock, The Stooges and MC5. However, most of 1968’s biggest albums, The Beatles’ White Album (November), Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet (December), and Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland (October), all came out after baseball season. I also have all three committed to memory from my high school and college days. But I have re-discovered an artist who performed at the Monterey Music Festival and grew in popularity in the spring of 1968, posthumously.
Otis Redding died on December 10, 1967 in a plane crash. Years later, Don McLean would pen a hit song about the day Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959. He called it “the day the music died”. Three members of Lynryd Skynyrd were killed in a 1977 plane crash, but that band plays on. Otis was silenced on that day in December, 1967 and we all truly lost a great talent. Like Hendrix, he was popular in Europe before making a splash at Monterey. Three days before his death, he recorded “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”. He whistled the last verse, meaning to come back and fill it in with lyrics. He did not get the chance to do so.
“Sittin’ By the Dock of the Bay” was released in January, 1968, and became a number one song, the first posthumous number one single in U.S. chart history. Redding’s popularity in the U.S. among white audiences took off. Three Otis Redding albums were released in 1968. Some recommended lesser-known tracks are “Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out”, “Cigarettes and Coffee” from his first album, The Soul Album, released in 1966, and any live rendition of “Shake”. Members of Otis’ band who went on to further glory: Issac Hayes (‘a bad mother… shut yo mouth’ who died three years ago today), and Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn, best known for their work with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd on the Blues Brothers album and movie. Otis Redding is now known as the King of Soul. Listen to his music which (apologies to Mr. McLean) will never die, and you will agree Otis is king.
Otis Redding’s 70th birthday will be celebrated the weekend of September 9, 2011 in his hometown of Macon, Georgia.
Replay update: 1968 baseball will be updated when play reaches the end of July (currently July 19). Still intrigued with the depth and fun of Out of the Park Baseball 12 while toying with 1901 and 1920 replays. I mentioned on Twitter recently my next baseball project will be OOTP12, likely 1920. I will continue the 1968 NFL and AFL football replay now the NFL is back in session. Stay tuned for a football update here.
Thank you for following! Happy 40th birthday to SABR!