This is a deeply touching tribute to Otis Redding by DJ Johnnie Walker, floating out on Radio Caroline South on December 22nd, 1967. Audio has been dramatically cleaned up from its source tape by Pandora, whose excellent UK offshore radio blog is a must visit.
It didn’t even occur to me until I typed that just now that today is also December 22nd. 42 years ago today. It’s pretty amazing these tapes exist at all.
Anyway, it really puts things into perspective how utterly tragic and devastating this was, and to have it happen just before the holidays… Man. I just love Otis Redding and feel this with Walker the whole way through, even though this was all before my time.
Redding’s biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” was recorded three days before his death, and wasn’t released until two weeks after this broadcast. It would go on to be Redding’s biggest hit and the first posthumous #1 single in US chart history.
I can’t say I’m intimately familiar with Johnnie Walker, and his later career. But I certainly hold him in high esteem for this. British people always appreciated American R&B and soul, possibly even more than white America ever did. The purity of emotion involved must have been particularly appealing to such a seemingly reserved society. But hey, what do I know? Is that off the mark?
This was actually cleaned up a little bit in Audacity. Just some normalizing and light noise reduction. It’s also edited down from two hours, the full audio can be found at the bottom, unedited and un-processed on my end. I have better sounding tapes that will be posted eventually, this one just felt right for today.
FULL TAPE, 120 MINUTES