Once again I had to go with another Stax classic from the “King of Soul” — “Try A Little Tenderness.” Many have covered it but no one can replicate Otis’ rendition.
“Try a Little Tenderness” appeared on this last LP issued , “Live In Europe,” that Otis got to see released during his lifetime. It was recorded during the final Stax/Volt tour. It charted #8 R&B and #32 Pop.
This song is in a three-way tie with “Dock of the Bay” and “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)” as my most favorite Otis Redding single. Umm make that four way tie — I almost forgot “The Happy Song (Dum Dum).”
Of course as a youngster I knew of Otis, even earlier than these songs, from my Dad’s music collection — in particular 1962′s “These Arms of Mine” that was played over and over quite often by my Dad. The 8 year old me just ate it up: I loved the sound of Otis Redding. So you see I literally grew up on Otis’ music and his death was a true stunner for me.
I wonder if the folks at Monterey Pop Festival had even a tiny clue that they were being blessed to see and hear Otis and the Barkays perform. I only wish I had been lucky enough to witness this live.
And here is one more clip of “The King” performing “Tenderness” live so that you can enjoy the complete visual of his singing it.
Trivia: I bet you didn’t know that this song was one of many cover versions of an awesome love song that was first recorded on December 8, 1932 by the Ray Noble Orchestra with vocals by Val Rosing according to this WIKI.
The QOS covered “Tenderness” in 1962, but IMHO her watered down version (ironically with NO soul) doesn’t hold a candle to the King’s. Like I said above — no one can ever replicate Otis’ rendition of “Tenderness” that was arranged and produced by Isaac Hayes. It is truly remarkable how the genius that was Isaac Hayes could listen to the original (provided for you above) and created something so soulful and deep. And OMG those horns are just tremendous! Don’t you think?
I’d love to hear your opinion in the comment section. Do you think any version of “Tenderness” out there is better than Mr. Redding’s version? What do you say?