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Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…
O is for Otis Redding – One of my very favorite songs of all time is Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay. It reminds me of my days in Tank’s Tavern, a little beer joint that I used to hang out in back in the day. They had a great jukebox and Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay was one song that got played over and over and over.
Here’s a glimpse into the career of Otis Redding with this video montage that I found on the Rhino channel on YouTube: “Watch the official video for (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding. The video features video clips and photos of Otis Redding in the prime of his musical career. It was released posthumously on Stax Records’ Volt label becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the US.” – I didn’t know that! Did you??
“After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay became the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.
Redding’s premature death devastated Redding’s record label, Stax. Already on the verge of bankruptcy, the label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire song catalog.
Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific nickname King of Soul. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his best-known songs.” (source: Otis Redding Wikipedia page)
Here’s an Otis Redding performance that was recorded THE DAY BEFORE HIS DEATH on December 9, 1967 in Cleveland, Ohio, before the plane crash took the lives of Redding and his band members, the Bar-Kays. Try a Little Tenderness:
O is for the Outlaws – Who doesn’t love this Southern Rock classic Green Grass and High Tides?! The Outlaws is a southern rock/country rock band formed in Tampa, Florida back in 1967. They are best known for their hits There Goes Another Love Song and Green Grass & High Tides from their 1975 debut album.
Though considered to be in the southern rock genre, which shows in their dual lead guitar interplay, there is a distinct difference in their use of three and four part harmonies, whereas their contemporaries typically rely on a sole lead vocalist. Maybe that is why the Outlaws songs are great sing-along songs…
“Green Grass and High Tides” is the tenth and final track on the band’s debut album, Outlaws. The song is one of their best known, and has received extensive play on album-oriented radio stations, although it was never released as a single. The song is notable for having two extended guitar solos that stretch the song to nearly 10 minutes.
Some believe that the song speaks of marijuana but that is not true. Of the song, Outlaws founding member Hughie Thomasson said:
“I wrote that song in St Augustine, Florida. We went to a cookout on the beach and everybody forgot to bring their guitars. I was standing by the ocean and there was a breeze and the words kept coming to me. It’s about all the rock stars I liked that died had come back and were playing a show just for me. Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. And eventually more of course.”
Some trivia: “Green Grass and High Tides” was the usual show closer for the Outlaws and the 20 minute+ version can be found on the concert album Bring It Back Alive (1978). The song is mentioned in Molly Hatchet’s song “Gator Country” and was featured on the “Harley Davidson Road Songs” album in 1995. The song also featured as a tribute to the recently departed from Lynyrd Skynyrd. The intro was: ‘We’d like to take a minute to remember some very good friends of ours, and friends of yours–the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band.’ ” (Source: Wikipedia)
Here is Green Grass and High Tides, recorded at The Plant in Los Angeles in 1976. This is a great live version of the song. I usually prefer studio versions of most songs and I thought Green Grass and High Tides would definitely be one that I would chose to showcase a studio version but this live recording is quite good. Enjoy!
Here’s their other hit that makes me want to roll on down the highway with the windows down, wind blowing through my hair and singing at the top of my lungs. There Goes Another Love Song:
Another Outlaws classic that I love is Ghost Riders in the Sky. This 1980 cover of (Ghost) Riders in the Sky was the band’s biggest single chart success, reaching No. 31 on the Billboard’s “Pop Singles” chart. That surprised me as I was sure that Green Grass and High Tides would’ve charted much higher but again, that song was never released as a single. I do remember that one year the radio station in Niagara Falls that I listened to was doing a countdown of the best rock songs of all time (I think the year was 1979) and I accurately predicted all of the Top Five songs, with Green Grass and High Tides coming in at #2. This was just a list generated by the local radio station though…
Here’s Ghost Riders in the Sky:
O is for Ozark Mountain Daredevils – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils is a Southern Rock/Country Rock band formed in Springfield, Missouri back in 1972. They are most known for their singles If You Want to Get to Heaven in 1974 and Jackie Blue in 1975.
If You Want to Get to Heaven – This is their first single off their first album. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest Southern Rock tracks of all time!
Another one of my favorites by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils went to #3 in 1975. Jackie Blue:
One of their more silly songs is Chicken Train and they seem to have a good time performing it. Here they are in 1976:
O is for the Ohio Players – an American Funk and R&B band popular in the 1970s. Best known for their two #1 hits, Fire and Love Rollercoaster. Founded in Dayton, Ohio back in 1959, originally as the Ohio Untouchables, the band underwent some personnel and format changes and in 1965 finally settled into a member lineup that called themselves the Ohio Players — reportedly because of their geographic roots AND because the band members thought of themselves as real ladies’ men, ie: “Players.” I guess that was something to be proud of back then??
Here they are, performing their hit Fire on the Midnight Special in 1975:
The Ohio Players in another 1975 performance on the Midnight Special with Love Rollercoaster:
Who are your favorite O artists or bands? Who would you have included here?Tell us in the Comments section!