Top 5 Places Associated with Otis Redding



Otis Redding really is the King of Soul. Whether you're black or white, rich or poor, listeners around the globe love the sound of Redding's gruff vocals, and connect with his genuine verses.  But there are some things or places that you may not associate with The Big O. From his humble beginnings in Tindall Heights to the church he attended to his high school days in Macon, a visit to Macon, Ga is not complete if you don't have a little Otis in your heart. Here are some great places to feel that Otis magic in and around Macon.


 


The Douglass Theater

The Douglas Theater is where Phil Walden discovered Otis Redding when the young singer won the WIBB Teenage Party Talent Contest, week-after-week every Saturday for 15 weeks and was ultimately banned from competing again so others would have a chance at winning. Redding also was the first person honored on the theater’s walk of fame.

Robert E. Lee Building

The Robert E. Lee building, a Mulberry Street office building, is where Alan Walden's Redwal Music was once located. This joint venture of Redding and Phil Walden, not only directed Redding’s career but also managed many other rhythm and blues/soul artists. The studios of WIBB were also in the Robert E. Lee building and where legendary DJ’s (King Bee, Satellite Papa, Big Saul and others) were usually the first to play Otis Redding records.


vineville baptist church

It was at Vineville Baptist Church where Redding received first hand experience at singing.  Otis Redding attended Vineville Baptist Church as a youth, where his father was pastor, nurturing his singing talents in the church choir. Otis was a member of the church choir and later went on to join a gospel quartet.

 


tindall heights

Tindall Heights was developed between 1870 and 1940 as a white, middle class community with housing for workers and includes churches, stores, homes and a school. It contains one of the largest and most intact collections of urban Georgia house types from that period.  In search of a better life, Redding's family moved to Tindall Heights from Dawson, Georgia in 1944.

 

Ballard hudson high school

Ballard Hudson Senior High School was built it 1949 and was the only high school in Macon for African Americans grades nine through twelve. At the time, the high school emphasized giving African Americans a technical education.  After beginning school at Ballard Hudson, Redding's interest in music continued and he joined the school band as a drummer.  It was in 10th grade, when 15 year old Redding quit school to help his mother care for their family after his father fell ill.

Learn how Redding's memory and legacy are kept alive by visiting The Otis Redding Foundation 

Located on Cotton Avenue in downtown Macon, this organization keeps Redding’s memory alive though education and scholarship opportunities for young people who want to enter the music industry.  Run by members of the Otis Redding family, this is a great place to purchase souvenirs, including T-shirts and Otis Redding CD’s.