I went last night to a screening of Dreams To Remember, an upcoming dvd doc on the great soul singer Otis Redding. It’s a fine, affectionate look at this king of soul, who died tragically young at the age of 26 in a place crash. Just before the release of his most successful song, the classic Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay.
The doc contains some terrific archival footage, but also some of it comes off as dated. Performance clips from Dick Clark’s Where The Action Is program show some disinterested teens standing around half-heartedly clapping to the energetic, although lip-synching Redding. Also in the background is a member of Paul Revere’s Raiders, in his Raiders costume, which made a young woman next to me say, “look there’s a Pirate”. I, like it or not, am old enough to have watched the show (I believe it was on in the afternoons and I watched it after school, but my memory could be faulty). There also were clips from a Cleveland, OH tv performance shot the day before he died. I knew immediately it was the Upbeat Show, a wonderful (Okay, an often wonderful) local music show that I also watched as a kid.
Anyway, fans of soul, R&B or just simply American music will enjoy this doc. It also pairs up nicely with another recent doc Respect Yourself that looks at the history of Stax Records, Reddings’ label.