Otis Redding documentary to make U.S. debut with Stax special screening

Otis Redding performing. Photo courtesy Zelma Redding

Courtesy of Zelma Redding

Otis Redding performing. Photo courtesy Zelma Redding

The life, music and legend of Otis Redding is the subject of a new British television documentary that will make its U.S. debut with special free screenings at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music on Monday, a date that would’ve been the singer’s 72nd birthday.

“We’re excited to host this event,” said Stax Musuem communication director Tim Sampson. “The filmmakers had originally contacted us while they were in production looking for some archival photos. We stayed in touch and asked if could screen it, and decided to do it on Otis’ birthday, as a way of celebrating.”

The film, “Otis Redding: Soul Ambassador”, was directed by Jeremy Marre for the British Broadcasting Company, and uses previously unseen home movies to trace the arc of Redding’s all-too-brief 26 years. The film focuses on Redding’s final triumphant months, including his 1967 tour of the U.K. and his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, before his death in a plane crash.

The film promises rare and unseen performances, interviews with Otis’ wife Zelma Redding and daughter Karla Redding-Andrews, and with original band members Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones. Fellow music celebrities — Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Elton John and Bryan Ferry — also appear.

There will be two screenings: at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. Seating is limited and on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information, go to staxmuseum.com or call 901-946-2535.

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