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How Otis Redding became the sound of ‘60’s soul—and its history

by AirTalk®

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Otis Redding marker debut in Gray Georgia/Jones County where Hwy 11 and Hwy 29 cross as part of Otis Redding 75th Birthday Celebration on September 11, 2016 in Macon, Georgia. Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Otis Redding 75

When Otis Redding died tragically in 1967, he’d already left behind a body of work that is iconic with soul music.

In his book, “Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life,” Jonathan Gould captures the missing part of Redding’s legacy: the history behind it. Gould places Redding in history, and shows how soul music bridged a country at the height of racialized tension in the 60s.

Larry Mantle spoke with Gould about Redding’s life, his legacy in American music, and how the songs we listen to reflect the times we live in.


Jonathan Gould, former musician and writer based out of New York state; he is the author of “Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and American” and his latest book, “Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life

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