The Essentials: Otis Redding
Soul music derives from church music, and no singer took the fervor of the Southern pulpit to the secular stage like Otis Redding. This primer gathers up the best of his songs, both the chastising vamps over which he rants and roars (“Mr. Pitiful,” “Respect”) and the hymnals; slow-baked ballads that reach feverish intensity the longer Otis testifies (“My Lover’s Prayer,” “Try a Little Tenderness”). The promise of salvation is always to be found in the healing fire of his voice.