Stax Museum celebrates soul star Otis Redding's legacy

(WMC-TV) - Stax Records is celebrating what would have been former Stax star Otis Redding's 70th birthday.

A new exhibit at Stax Museum called "I've Got Dreams to Remember" features pieces from his family's private collection, and it has people from around the world lining up to see it.

"He's huge in England," said London native Leslie Thillainayagam.  "He's huge, very popular."

The exhibit is a tribute to a man who rose from the housing projects to become one of the most exciting performers in soul music history.

"He just had it," said Tim Sampson with Stax.  "He had the same thing Elvis Presley had with rock and rollers, Otis had with soul music."

The exhibit chronicles Redding's life from childhood to manhood.  It features rare photos of his parents, his wife, his first band and clips from the Monterey Pop concert where he became a superstar.

"With respect to everybody else who recorded at Stax, I think most of them would tell you that Otis Redding was the greatest thing that happened at Stax," said Sampson.  "That when he came here the whole atmosphere changed."

The centerpiece of the exhibit are two Grammys Redding won for his hit, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay."  Unfortunately, Redding never got a chance to see them.

"He never knew he won any Grammys, because they were given, awarded after he died in a plane crash," said Sampson.

Pictures from Redding's funeral show music royalty in attendance.  The exhibit also features telegrams Elvis Presley and many others sent to Redding's widow.

For more information about the exhibit, click here.

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