Guitar art on Sunset Strip will pay tribute to Otis Redding

obrown@macon.comJuly 9, 2014 

Otis Redding

Otis Redding will be honored by a 10-foot-tall replica of a Gibson guitar on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.

AP

Nearly 50 years after his death, soul icon Otis Redding is still drawing tributes.

Next week, a 10-foot-tall replica of a Gibson guitar will be unveiled in his honor on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.

Redding, who was killed in a plane crash in 1967, recorded a live album, “In Person at the Whisky A Go-Go,” on the strip in 1966.

On Tuesday, Redding’s son Otis Redding III will be at the club to autograph the guitar art. Afterward, he’s scheduled to perform with Raphael Saadiq, a former member of the R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! who also helped create the artwork.

“It’s a blessing to know that they want to keep Dad’s legacy alive,” Redding III said Wednesday. “That’s a really cool thing.”

Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews, said the family has seen the artwork and “we’re very pleased with it.”

It has “a number of amazing details that represent Otis Redding,” she said, declining to elaborate until it’s unveiled.

“You will know it was done in Otis’ honor,” she said. “It’s an absolutely spectacular piece” of art.

The guitar, along with others, will be featured as part of the Gibson Experience during the Sunset Strip Music Festival in September. Each piece of guitar art celebrates a musician, personality or artist special to the strip’s history. Tuesday’s event signifies Redding’s West Coast debut at the Whisky A Go-Go.

Gibson GuitarTown opened on the strip in 2010. It’s a public art project that features the 10-foot guitar replicas, which stand in front of the boulevard’s landmarks and businesses.

Redding was born in Dawson, in south Georgia, but he moved to Macon with his family when he was 5. He is known for hits including “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay,” “Try a Little Tenderness” and “These Arms of Mine.”

He had recorded “Dock of the Bay” just days before he died in a plane crash on the way to a concert in Madison, Wisconsin. He was 26 years old.

To view photos of some of the guitars, go to bit.ly/GTown2013map.

To contact writer Oby Brown, call 744-4396.

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