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Otis Redding Dies in Plane Crash


1967 – Legendary Musician Otis Redding Dies in Plane Crash

Otis Redding, the singer and songwriter behind such hits as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” and “RESPECT” died on this date in 1967. The plane carrying Redding and members of his backup band The Bar-Kays crashed into Lake Manona in Madison, Wisconsin. The party was on its way to play a concert the next evening near the University of Wisconsin. Also killed in the crash were guitarist Jimmy King, tenor saxophonist Phalon Jones, organist Ronnie Caldwell and drummer Carl Cunningham; their valet, Matthew Kelly; and the pilot, Richard Fraser. Ben Cauley, a member of the Bar-Kays was the only one to survive the crash.

“(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” was released in January 1968 and would become Redding’s only number one hit. Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the United States Post Office issued a 29-cent commemorative postage stamp in his honor and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1999 he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Rolling Stone magazine ranked Redding  number 21 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”