Thad Childs has taken the lead in the Redding tribute. He is the city president of Morris Bank in Gray, and the bank showed its support with a $5,000 donation, which was presented at the March 25 press conference held at the W.E. Knox Civic Center.
Childs was the first to speak and talked about his conversation with Zelma Redding, who is Otis’ wife. He said the Redding family is valuable to the community and asked her if she would allow a tribute to him.
He said she was agreeable, and a committee was formed to start work on the project. The committee is now a 501(c)3 and can accept tax donations that will be tax deductible.
Childs gave a brief history of Otis Redding, beginning with his birth in Dawson in 1941. His family moved to Macon when the entertainer was 3, and he started singing in church and at school.
Redding’s career took off, and by the time he was 20, he was well-known.
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