Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 â December 10, 1967) was an American soul singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout. He is considered one of the major figures in soul music and rhythm and blues (R&B). His open-throated singing was an influence on other soul singers of the 1960s, and he helped to craft the lean and powerful style of R&B that formed the basis of the Stax Sound. After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, he wrote and recorded "(Sittin'' On) The Dock of the Bay", which went on to become a number-one record on both the pop and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. Redding was born and raised in the American state of Georgia. At age 15, he left school to help his family financially by working with Little Richard''s backing band The Upsetters, and playing talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins''s band, The Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States while serving as driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a session led to a turning point in his career. He signed a contract with record label Stax Records and released his debut album, Pain in My Heart, in 1964. This album produced his first single on Stax, "These Arms of Mine".