Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul

Dreams to Remember Otis Redding Stax Records and the Transformation of Southern Soul When he died in one of rock s string of tragic plane crashes Otis Redding was only twenty six yet already the avatar of a new kind of soul music The beating heart of Memphis based Stax Records he h

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  • Title: Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul
  • Author: Mark Ribowsky
  • ISBN: 9781631491931
  • Page: 110
  • Format: Paperback
  • When he died in one of rock s string of tragic plane crashes, Otis Redding was only twenty six, yet already the avatar of a new kind of soul music The beating heart of Memphis based Stax Records, he had risen to fame belting out gospel flecked blues in stage performances that seemed to ignite not only a room but an entire generation If Berry Gordy s black owned kingdom iWhen he died in one of rock s string of tragic plane crashes, Otis Redding was only twenty six, yet already the avatar of a new kind of soul music The beating heart of Memphis based Stax Records, he had risen to fame belting out gospel flecked blues in stage performances that seemed to ignite not only a room but an entire generation If Berry Gordy s black owned kingdom in Motown showed the way in soul music, Redding made his own way, going where not even his two role models who had preceded him out of Macon, Georgia Little Richard and James Brown had gone.Now, in this transformative work, New York Times Notable Book author Mark Ribowsky contextualizes his subject s short career within the larger cultural and social movements of the era, tracing the crooner s rise from preacher s son to a preacher of three minute soul sermons And what a quick rise it was At the tender age of twenty one, Redding needed only a single unscheduled performance to earn a record deal, his voice so utterly unique Atlantic that it catapulted him on a path to stardom and turned a Memphis theater turned studio into a music mecca Soon he was playing at sold out venues across the world, from Finsbury Park in London to his ultimate conquest, the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival in California, where he finally won over the flower power crowd.Still, Redding was not always the affable, big hearted man s man the PR material painted him to be Based on numerous new interviews and prodigious research, Dreams to Remember reintroduces an incredibly talented yet impulsive man, one who once even risked his career by shooting a man in the leg But that temperament masked a deep vulnerability that was only exacerbated by an industry that refused him a Grammy until he was in his grave even as he shaped the other Stax soul men around him, like Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, and Booker T and The MG s.As a result, this requiem is one of great conquest but also grand tragedy a soul king of truth, a mortal man with an immortal voice and a pain in his heart Now he, and the forces that shaped his incomparable sound, are reclaimed, giving us a panoramic of an American original who would come to define an entire era, yet only wanted what all men deserve a modicum of respect and a place to watch the ships roll in and away again.
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    804 Comment

    • The Style Page says:

      I found Dreams to Remember repetitive. Despite the subtitle Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul, this book is not really about Stax Records. If you want to read the story of Stax Records, readRespect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion. Dreams to Remember would have been more interesting had it explored in more detail the social backdrop of Macon, Georgia, from where Otis Redding, Little Richard, and James Brown emerged.

    • Dan Shonka says:

      I received this book as a Giveaway. Mark Ribowsky gives a solid and detailed story of Otis Redding's short but talent-ladened life. He does an especially good job of giving the reader the good and the bad of Otis Redding's life and career. However, Mr. Ribowsky states throughout the book that Redding changed the music scene. He presents several events as evidence, and in my opinion, the case he makes falls short of convincing. Did Redding have an impact on the music? Sure. Did he set a trend? I [...]

    • Rick Elinson says:

      I am very happy that Ribowsky has written a book about Otis Redding, a favorite singer of mine. My college roommate was into R&B, so he wanted to go to an Otis Redding concert spring 1967 in Baltimore. Three white guys and an Asian were a peculiar-looking group there, but it was memorable! Ribowsky's book is odd. He writes in popular culture style, but wants to be a historian. The book is larded with facts about recording sessions, contract arrangements, record company histories, and concert [...]

    • Bonnye Reed says:

      XXX I received a copy of Dreams to Remember by Mark Ribowsky on August 11 as a Giveaway from W.W. Norton & Company. Otis is one of my heroes - thank you so much for sharing this biography with me!Because he died so young, there was little information out there about Otis Redding and his family. I was pleased to be able to fill in the blanks of the life of a gentleman who shared such talent with his listeners, and fronted some of the changes in Blues and Rock through the 1960's. This book co [...]

    • Dkolacinski says:

      Where was I on December 10, 1967? What part of me died? What part of me still clings to the dreams I remember? That was another time. That was another day. I used to believe that Otis Redding was the reincarnation of Buddy Holly. Otis sang sad songs happy; Buddy, happy songs sad. (OK, ignore physical time. It doesn't exist anyway.) Sing on brother

    • Jeffrey Bumiller says:

      This is a fantastic read for any music fan. Ribowsky's writing is very good, but sometimes the level of detail is suffocating. Perhaps this book could have used another edit? Regardless, if you are an Otis Redding fan, this is a must read.

    • Erin Cataldi says:

      I love music biography's but this one felt lacking to me. It wasn't solely about Otis Redding (only about 95% him) and talked a lot about Stax Records and a few other soul singers (but only in relation to Otis). It was very clinical and skimmed over a lot of Otis' life in favor of talking about his recording sessions, rumors about his infidelities and death, and his managers and music companies. This book lacked soul. It was flat, one dimensional, and unexciting. Which is a shame, it's the Big O [...]

    • Bob says:

      Very interesting stories.

    • Stacy says:

      It was an interesting exercise to read this book so close in time to when I read Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life since they are both about Otis Redding. There are overlaps between the two books with details of his life. While Unfinished Life focused more on the history of the music and civil rights, Dreams is more about Otis the artist. One books shows a Redding who is struggling to find his way in the world and the other portrays a supremely confident man who always got what he wanted. I enjoy [...]

    • Retha Cameron says:

      I just completed reading Dreams To Remember, and I have to say that it was one of the most enjoyable and informative books I have encountered in some time. Mark Ribowsky gives us an in depth look at the life and career of Otis Redding. We get to understand his childhood and relationship with his father, and we learn how this shaped him into the man he would become. His journey in the music world, and his talents as a songwriter and as what amounts to a producer and arranger are well detailed. Th [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      The basis of this book is clearly many in depth interviews which provides narrative grounding, pace and authenticity. To the author's credit he mostly avoids the trap of having a fragmented, patchy, stitched feel. He also does a good job of locating Stax and Redding's story within the context of the time. He allows the stories to collectively paint the portrait of a complicated man at the cusp of historic racial changes in the US. It was always going to be a haunting story and a tragic one. The [...]

    • Ellen says:

      A really interesting book about Otis Redding's journey to stardom (and his untimely death at age 26), Stax Records, and the early soul music scene. I knew very little of Otis Redding beyond "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay," I don't even think I knew that it was released posthumously. I also didn't realize how many of his songs were covered by other artists so I thought they were written by others. While I really liked this book, I felt like it didn't go into his personal life as deeply as I woul [...]

    • Matt Carton says:

      Thoroughly enjoyable. Otis's music has played a major part in my life. As I was reading the book, and it was inching closer to December 1967, I was hoping it would slow down. But alas.11/21: Downgraded this to 3 stars after completing Robert Gordon's "Respect Yourself."

    • Jennifer Jowsey says:

      Won this from a giveaway. The book sounded good, so I entered the giveaway with the intent to give this to a friend who loves all kinds of music. Did not read it myself, but it made a great gift.

    • Brent says:

      I liked this a lot, though there are inherent problems in writing about a short life, especially one at the center of dispute over a legacy, like in this case. Stax is much loved, and Otis Redding even more. I want to listen to Otis again now.

    • Scott says:

      Informative and entertaining read, almost as good (in my opinion only) as the author's previous bio on Howard Cosell.

    • Christy Faucheux says:

      I won this book as a Giveaway. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about one of my favorite artists, Otis Redding. Although it was a bit repetitive at times, I still loved it. Great book!

    • Scott says:

      Well written and researched by an author with a great vocabulary. Sometimes a bit repetitive and adulatory though

    • *heartrl* says:

      A bit dry and boring.

    • Theresa says:

      This was an informative book with lots of information. I enjoyed reading this, and it was organized neatly to make for a fun read.

    • Lane says:

      A good read about Otis Redding and Sax Records. Fits well with other books about soul music and the south.

    • Bonnie says:

      Probably best for varsity-level fans -- but there are many far worse things to be.

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