BY MELISSA RUGGIERI
Otis Redding’s legacy will be cemented with a permanent marker honoring his ties to the city of Gray, Ga., in Jones County.
At 7 p.m. Friday, the Redding family and the Otis Redding Memorial Committee will unveil the marker at the corner of Highway 11 and Highway 129 in downtown Gray, near The Station.
The unveiling will take place during the Tunes & Spoons festival. The A2Z band will perform a tribute to the soul legend from 7:30-9:30 p.m. with the Redding family in attendance.
The marker, which has been in the works for two years, stands seven feet tall and seven feet wide and is designed to look like an album sleeve, complete with photos of Redding’s life and connection to his adult hometown. Fans can hear Redding’s voice through an interactive panel of the legendary singer’s songs.
While Redding was born in Dawson, Ga., and grew up in nearby Macon, after attaining success he bought a farm in Jones County, where he lived with his family.
The “Try a Little Tenderness” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” soul man was a frequent presence in Gray before his untimely plane crash death in 1967.
The Otis Redding Memorial Marker efforts were initiated by Thad Childs, market president at Morris Bank, who worked with a committee of citizens from Jones County and the city of Gray, along with the Redding family, to commemorate the singer’s attachment to the area.
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