Otis Redding Family Taps Sony Music Publishing to Administer Catalog in U.S.

Sony Music Publishing has entered into an agreement with Otis Redding‘s estate, now doing business as Big O Holdings, to administer the songs of the late soul legend in the United States. The singer’s widow, Zelma Redding, said SMP was the right partner to help in their “never-ending effort” to keep Redding’s legacy “recognizable around the world.”

Redding composed or co-wrote many of the songs readily associated with him, including “Respect,” which later became Aretha Franklin’s signature, “Mr. Pitiful,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Hard to Handle,” eventually adopted by The Black Crowes, and “These Arms of Mine,” later featured in Dirty Dancing. He also co-penned, with fellow future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Butler, the searingly emotional ballad “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” which lifted all the way to No. 2 on the R&B chart in 1965.

Redding’s ethereal and timeless “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” which he co-wrote with M.G. guitarist (and future Blues Brother) Steve Cropper, was released in early 1968, a month after the singer’s tragic death in a plane crash on Dec. 10, 1967. “Dock of the Bay” whistled its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1968, the singer’s first visit to the chart’s top 20.


“As one of the most significant songwriters of our lifetime, Otis Redding remains an American treasure,” commented Sony Music Publishing chairman/CEO Jon Platt. “Otis’ songs have shaped the cultural landscape across genres and generations, and it is a privilege to partner with the Redding family as stateside custodians of this singular music catalog.”

The Georgia native was a master interpreter as well, turning old standard “Try a Little Tenderness” into a frenetic hit in 1966, and he put his own spin on classics made famous by other soul icons like “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) and “My Girl” (Sam Cooke). His version of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” which he and backing band Booker T. & the M.G.’s performed at the Monterey Pop Festival, was legendary for how much it deviated (“I can’t get me no…”) from the original. On his final album before his death, a two-hander with fellow all-timer Carla Thomas titled King & Queen, Redding scored hits with the boisterous “Tramp” and “Knock on Wood.”

Redding released six studio albums between 1964 and 1967, mostly via Stax sister label Volt. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

“Otis Redding was a rare talent – his songs are unmistakably brilliant, and their enduring impact remains strong to this day,” said SMP president and global chief marketing officer Brian Monaco. “We are honored to join forces with the Redding family to represent his catalog and strengthen his legacy as one of the most iconic songwriters in American history.”

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