- Thaddeus Russell
Redding, Otis (09 September 1941–10 December 1967), singer and songwriter, was born Otis Redding, Jr., in Dawson, Georgia, the son of Otis Redding, Sr., a maintenance worker and minister, and Fanny (maiden name unknown). In 1944, when the younger Redding was three, the family moved into the Tindall Heights Housing Project in Macon, Georgia. Redding began playing drums and piano in elementary school and sang in his church gospel choir. He was forced to drop out of high school in the tenth grade when his father contracted tuberculosis and lost his job at the local air force base. Redding then worked as a well digger and a gas station attendant and also earned money as a musician with the Upsetters, a rhythm-and-blues band led by the singer and piano player Little Richard. Redding gained fame as an R&B singer in the Macon area when he won several local talent show contests. By 1958 he was prominent in the Macon music scene as the singer for a rhythm-and-blues band called the Pinetoppers....