MACON, GA.-- - Otis Redding's legacy lives on after nearly 50 years since his passing. Now the first ever authorized Otis Redding biography is out, but you would not be "wasting time,” as the famous Otis Redding song goes, by getting the music legend's new book. The Redding family says it is the first book that they have worked so closely with the author on. The book, titled "Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life," was released Tuesday, but they say it took seven years to finish.
"We knew that it was time because the fanbase had just been asking for it and we knew that it had to be done. To get it done and to get it done right with the family participation was the most important thing, so there's no better time than now,” says Karla Redding.
The author, Jonathan Gould, came all the way down to Macon from New York to interview people about Redding's life.
"Otis belonged to a generation of black artists who, in a way that had not been possible before, crossed over to a white audience, as the expression went, and started to gain real popularity, not just with a black audience but on white radio and in white concert venues and so on and so forth,” says Gould.
The Otis Redding Foundation brings in fans from all over the world. Garry Rhodeside came all the way from Philadelphia.
"I've been an Otis Redding fan since I was 10 years old in 1965, the first time I heard his music,” recalls Rhodeside.
He says he loved Redding so much that people in high school nicknamed him "Otis."
"You know I was the Vice President of the class. He wrote down, 'To you I donate my 'Dock of the Bay' album,” says Rhodeside.
He says he has already gotten himself two copies of the new Otis Redding biography.
"I wish I could say I'm going to read it and be done in a couple of days, but I'm going to take my time and really enjoy this book and I hope that other people read it and get to know who Otis Redding really was,” says Rhodeside.
He says he has started a scholarship for kids in Philadelphia to come to the Otis Redding music camp here in Macon. If you would like to purchase the book, "Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life," it is available online at book stores like Barnes and Noble and at the Otis Redding Foundation on Cotton Avenue.
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