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STAX NEWS
page 15


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AN OTIS STATUE SOON IN MACON
 (January 15th, 2002)
 

Otis

From Newton Collier in Macon:

Otis Redding, the Macon crooner who posthumously topped the pop charts with "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," will be memorialized with a bronze statue at downtown's Gateway Park, overlooking the Ocmulgee River. Karla Redding-Andrews, the singer's daughter who owns a Macon shoe store, said Saturday that NewTown Macon has commissioned Bronze by Cooleys, a Florida-based art studio, to replicate Redding's likeness.
The statue could be ready for a public unveiling this summer. "It's going to be a magnificent piece," Redding-Andrews said. "This is a way for us to keep his name alive and keep his image. I think he deserves that."
NewTown President Conie Mac Darnell said the organization still is in the preliminary stages of fund-raising efforts. Darnell would not say how much the statue will cost, but said NewTown is seeking private dollars.
"We're trying to put something together that the Redding family and this community would appreciate," Darnell said.
Bradley Cooley Sr., who owns Bronze by Cooleys in Lamont, Fla., with his son, put the cost between $40,000 and $45,000. The life-size statue is based on a photograph of a seated Redding playing the guitar and is reminiscent of his most recognizable song, he said. Redding-Andrews and Darnell hope the statue - which fueled weeks of debate among city leaders last year - not only honors one of Macon's musical legends but also provides another reason to visit downtown, now in the midst of an economic revival.
"I'm very excited about what it will do to tie in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Otis Redding bridge and all of downtown," Redding-Andrews said. "We appreciate (NewTown) wanting to recognize Daddy."
Darnell said the Redding statue could draw countless tourists to downtown. "We think it would be the most photographed thing in Macon," he said. "People come here from all over the world looking for a tribute to him. Otis Redding has just as big of a following in Europe as he does in America."
The idea of a statue for the man whose string of hits included "Mr. Pitiful," "Try a Little Tenderness" and "Pain in My Heart" ran into opposition last year at City Hall.
Mayor Jack Ellis, who wanted City Council to name the City Auditorium after Redding, vetoed plans for a statue last spring because he feared it would prevent the council from ever agreeing to rename the auditorium. After a public battle with the council, Ellis rescinded the veto on the condition that council members delete any reference to the auditorium in the statue resolution.
The final resolution received unanimous council approval but did not designate city money for the statue.
City Councilman Melvyn Williams, who originally floated the statue idea, said he was "tremendously pleased" that NewTown is working with the Redding family on the memorial.
"I always felt that statue would not only represent the essence and embodiment of Otis, but it seemed so appropriate to have it there next to the river," said Williams, who grew up two buildings from Otis Redding in the Tindall Heights housing project.
When Williams proposed the statue, a private donor whom he would not name planned to underwrite the project, Williams said.
But when attempts to honor Redding became political and Redding's widow Zelma hired an attorney asking that she have oversight of the statue's likeness, location and inscription, the donor backed away, Williams said.
"Once the controversy started, I lost my funding source," he said.
Williams said Saturday he was pleased to learn the project still is alive. "I am so pleased," Williams said. "I think we're going to get a good downtown attraction."
Redding-Andrews said she hopes the NewTown effort helps put in the past the differences about how her father should be remembered. "This statue will certainly help people feel him and his music," she said. "This should have been done a long time ago."
Cooley said he and his son are about six weeks into the Redding statue. "We'll probably work on the clay for another three or four months, and it will be another three months for molding and casting," he said. "It will take us six or seven months to finish it."
To create a likeness as close to Redding as possible, Cooley said he studied several photographs of the famous singer provided by the family.
Saturday, Otis Redding III stopped by the Cooley studio and suggested several changes to the preliminary artwork, including making his eyes heavier, thickening his neck and adding more fullness to his lips. Cooley also took photographs of Otis Redding III's hands. "They say his hands look almost exactly like his father's," Cooley said. "We're real proud to be doing this piece."

Once the statue gets closer to completion, Zelma Redding will travel to Florida to sign off on the piece before it is brought to Macon, Cooley said.

Redding's family moved to Macon in the early 1940s when the future singer was only 3. He remained in the city after he became a star, but he died at the age of 26 on Dec. 9, 1967, when his plane crashed into a lake on the way to a nightclub in Madison, Wis.

2001 The Macon Telegraph Publishing Co.

 

THE RUFUS THOMAS SCHOLARSHIP FUND
 
(January 14th, 2002) 

Rufus Card

 

 BOOKER T. & THE MG'S @ BLUESVILLE
(January 8th, 2002) 

MG's ticket

Here is Joe Pusateri's report of the Booker T. & The MG's concert at Bluesville, near Memphis, just three days ago:

I Went to the BT&MGs concert last night 01-05-02 and they put on a GREAT show. The concert started at 9 pm so we thought we would get there early to get good seats. We arrived atBbluesville at 7:20 and got to the entrance of the concert hall. In front of the door were 3 ropes of lines which were full. We got to the end of the line and I was glad we left early. Then an usher told us that the line was extended around the corner... opps. So Carol and I walked around the corner and there were 4 more lines that went down a good length of the hall and it was FULL (holy crap!). I was beginning to wonder why we didn't leave sooner. It was getting crowded and it was still a one and a half hour wait. It was amazing to see the mix of people there.
People were talking and having a great time. Rob Bowman's book "Soulsville USA" was everywhere. People were showing off their autographs. I wish I had thought to bring mine.
The doors opened up at 8:00 and we started filing in. We got really great seats and sat down. The place was really filling up fast. Booker T, Steve Cropper, "Duck" Dunn and Steve Potts got on stage and had a great time. They were laughing and cutting up with each other and playing their asses off. I wish I could remember the set list. But I did get some pretty good photos. It was a great time had by all.

To add a little more, they played the standards set list: Serve Somebody, Mo' Onions, Hip Hug-Her, Soul Limbo, Hang 'Em High, Time Is Tight, Sarasota Sunset, Green Onions, and Soul Dressing (I think) among others. I was able to go completely around the perimeter of the stage. I was trying to get a shot of Booker, Duck and Steve in one shot, but they never got that close. After the last song, Booker came out and signed autographs from the stage then the MG's came out and did an encore. Then Steve came out and signed autographs from the stage. He got swamped. Some people had 5 and 6 albums trying to get him to sign. Several copies of Rob Bowman's "Soulville USA" were out and being signed along with the booklet out of "The Stax Story". I went over to the stage door and waited for someone to come out, and out came Booker for a few minutes and then Duck came out very briefly and then closed the door. I turned around and saw that Steve Potts was standing, talking to a group of people and I walked over for a few minutes. They all acted a little surprised at the turnout for the concert and Booker mentioned that on stage. I told Steve Potts that I was glad he was playing with the band. Then they started ushering people out of the theater. A Great Night.

Look at all of Joe's photos at http://content.communities.msn.com/SloppyJoezBluesPhotos/bookertandthemgsinconcert.msnw and see a selection in small and large size on this site's STAX TODAY page 5.

Thanks again, Joe.

 

ROB BOWMAN NOMINATED FOR GRAMMY AWARDS
(January 4th, 2002)

Rob Bowman

 Rob Bowman is nominated for his liner notes in the 4 CD-box set "The Stax Story". Rob Bowman is the author of the great "SoulsVille, USA, an history of Stax Records" book. He has been previously awarded for his works about Stax. Congratulations, Rob, we vote for you!

SoulsVille, USA, an history of Stax Records

 

ALAN WALDEN TO WRITE HIS OWN BOOK
(January 3rd, 2002)

Al Walden

Alan Walden, along with his brother Phil, was Otis Redding's producer. Read his interview in this month's The Gritz magazine, at www.gritz.net. Among many interesting details about his career with and after Otis (with exclusive photos), you will happen to know that he plans to write his own book.
 

RUFUS & IKE IN THE MEMPHIS FLYER
(January 1st, 2002)

This week's Memphis Flyer (# 671) has a moving article on Rufus Thomas and a long interview of Isaac Hayes and his plans for the near future. To read these on line, go to www.memphisflyer.com/onthefly/onthefly_new.asp?ID=1033 (thanks to Joe Pusateri).
 

STAX MUSEUM OFFICIAL OPENING
(December 29th, 2001)

Stax Site on 10 Dec. 2001

The Stax Museum will open to the public in September of 2002 but the official opening ceremony, with all the Stax artists, will happen only in the Spring of 2003.

 

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