ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - At Mancini's Char House in St Paul, the sound of soul fills the air.
"We're not celebrating 'it's been 50 years since he died.'" Otis Redding fan David James Carlson said. "We're celebrating his life,"
Carlson helped to organize the tribute show Monday, gathering with dozens of other fans to remember a legacy cut short by a tragic plane crash near Madison, Wis.
Carlson has been a fan of Redding since he first heard "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay" when he was a teenager.
He's made it his mission to help people remember the southern singer from the 50's and 60's, who helped create the genre of music we now know as soul or R&B.
"Its always been an important song to me," Carlson said. "It did something to me as a kid. It just hit my heart. It hit a sadness and I never let it go."
Carlson says before Redding's big breakthrough, he wrote "Respect," which became a hit for Aretha Franklin and had a minor hit of his own with a song from the 30's called "Try A Little Tenderness."
"Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay" became his first No. 1 single, but only after he died on December 10, 1967--three days after recording it.
He never got to enjoy his greatest succuss.
"In his song Respect, it really says a lot--because that's what he wanted," Carlson said. "He really wanted his voice to be heard so he could do more good for the world."
Now 50 years after his death, Carlson is determined not to let Redding's legacy drift away.
"I want people to knowledgeable about what he was," Carlson said. "What he did. Honor him. Hear his music. Fall in love with his music and keep his memory going for the next 50 years."