1967 saw the star of soul music fall from the sky. Otis Redding only had time to release six albums during his short 26 years; however, they provided more than enough proof that he was one of the greatest voices of the 20th century.

On Sunday the 10th of December 1967, the star of soul, Otis Redding, suddenly fell from the sky. At just 26 years old, Big O was one of the passengers onboard the Beechcraft Model 18 that crashed into Lake Monona, killing him and four members of the Bar-Kays—guitarist Jimmy King, saxophonist Phalon Jones, organist Ronnie Caldwell and drummer Carl Cunningham. Only their trumpeter, Ben Cauley, survived the tragedy.

Otis Redding had yet to reach the pinnacle of what would surely have been an incredibly successful, long-lasting music career, and his sudden death shocked the music world and the black community alike. At the time, racial segregation was rife, and the predominantly white audience that made up the general public still hadn’t recognised the beauty of the Georgia native’s powerful voice. Otis would go on to reach his zenith a month after his death, following the posthumous release of his single (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, which would soon top the R&B and pop charts. This was a first for Otis, who never got to enjoy his time in the top spot. In fact, he never even heard the final version of Dock of the Bay, complete with the crashing waves in the intro and Sam Taylor’s legendary whistling, all of which was finalised in the studio by guitarist Steve Cropper, the song’s co-writer and producer.