Otis Redding Sculpture
Installed in September of 2002 in Gateway Park with the conjoining efforts of the NewTown Macon organization and the Redding Estate, this musical sculpture of the late crooning legend commemorates his musical success that began right here in Macon. Father and son team Bradley Cooley and Bradley Cooley, Jr. of Florida created the likeness of Redding by making molds of the faces of his brother, Luther Rodgers Redding, and his two sons, Lester and Otis Reddings, Jr. The singer not only appears to be giving lucky visitors to Gateway Park a private performance, he really is! The sculpture continuously plays 15-20 Otis Redding’s greatest hits, and the play list changes with the seasons.
Born in Dawson, Georgia, Otis Redding’s father was a Baptist Minister which explains Otis’ musical influence. At the age of five (5) his family moved to Macon, Georgia and at an early age he began his career as a singer and musician in the choir of the Vineville Baptist Church. Otis attended Ballad Hudson High School and participated in the school band. Determined to help his family financially, he dropped out of high school and went on to work with Little Richard’s former band, the Upsetters. After years of ambition and drive, Otis Redding’s sacrifices paid off. He appeared throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean. His concert tours were among the biggest box office successes of any touring performer during his time. He was nominated in three categories by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) for recordings he made during 1967. 1968 was destined to be the greatest year of his success with appearances slated at such locations as New York’s Philharmonic Hall and Washington’s Constitution Hall. Redding was booked for several major television network appearances including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Smothers Brothers Show, and a television special starring Redding. Who knows where Otis Redding’s career path might have taken him. All we know is that when his twin-engine Beechcraft crashed into Lake Monona, in Madison, Wisconsin, December 10, 1967… The World Lost A Musical Legend!
The life-size bronze statue of Otis Redding is near the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon. The Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon preserves and celebrates the stories of Georgia musicians, songwriters and producers, from humble beginnings in small towns like Monticello and Valdosta to careers marked by chart-topping hits and worldwide recognition. The museum features interactive exhibits, Music Factory children’s wing, special events & concerts, research library and jam-packed Music Store.