Song Lyric Sunday (12 April 2020) – Gemstones

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of birthdays (my choice). This week, theme of gemstones.

Hmmmmmmm… Diamonds, emeralds, jade, pearls, rubies, sapphires … they all sound like they might be tributes to a king.

So, what better song to choose than A Tribute To a King, by William Bell. Recorded as a tribute to Otis Redding. Bell was a recording artis in his own right, on the same label as Otis. We lost Otis in a plane crash outside Manison, Wisconsin in December 1967, and Bell penned this homage shortly afterwards. Bell is still with us, aged 80.

This song was only ever released as a B side, so it has no pedigree. It is just one that I heard many years ago, and it has stayed with me.

Listen, people, listen
I’m gonna sing you a song
About a man who lived good
But didn’t live too long

He was born in Macon, Georgia
A poor boy without a dime
He found his way to Memphis
Singing These Arms Of Mine

Otis, Otis Redding was his name
Without his soulful singing
This old world won’t be the same

Now he traveled on to Frisco
New York and abroad
Everywhere he sangThe people would applaud

One day he left Georgia
Wisconsin bound
But he didn’t get to sing that night
The plane he was in went down


He was a soul music singer
The king of the Memphis sound
It makes me feel so sad
Cause now he ain’t around

He died with his guitar
Close to his hands
But his soul lives on today
In the heart of a million fans

Talking about

Otis, Otis Redding was his name
His picture oughta be hung
In the music hall of fame

Otis, he was known as Big O
Otis, we gonna miss him so
Otis, ooh, yeah,
We gonna miss him so

William Bell


    • They were both on Stax. I hadn’t heard of William Bell apart from this, but in another comment, Peter says he saw him in concert over here a few years ago. I still love listening to Otis – he’s my late night goto.


    • No, not at all well known. I must’ve heard it at about 20 and because it was about Otis, and because it seemed so heartfelt, I always remembered it. Nut not anything I ever heard on the radio, say.


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