Otis Redding was planning to start summer camp on his ranch when he died

Legendary soul singer Otis Redding was planning to start a summer camp on his Georgia ranch when he died in a plane crash in 1967.

Redding purchased a 300-acre farm in Round Oak, Georgia, in 1965 and turned it into Big O Ranch. It was on his ranch that he planned to start a summer camp for underprivileged youth, but he was never ever able to follow through on the plans; he died in a plane crash in Wisconsin while on tour with his band on December 10, 1967. The married father of three was only 26.

Best known for his hit songs “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember,” “Respect” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” Redding is commonly referred to as the “King of Soul,” a nickname also given to James Brown and Sam Cooke.

Redding’s wife, who never remarried, still lives at the Big O Ranch and though a camp was never established on the ranch, the Otis Redding Foundation started the Otis Music Camp in 2008.

“Educating children through music was a dream of my husband’s,” Zelma Redding said in a press release to announce the 2015 camp. “This camp’s emphasis on creativity and inspiration is something I think he would have been proud of and it is the kind of program we will continue to foster through our Foundation.”

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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