Arts, Culture

Otis Redding’s Lyrics Come To Life In New Children’s Book, ‘RESPECT’

"RESPECT" will be released on Oct. 6.
"RESPECT" will be released on Oct. 6.
Credit / Akashic Books

RESPECT,” a new book for young children, is based on one of the greatest songs of the 20th century. Otis Redding’s song lyrics are brought to the page with illustrations by Rachel Moss. Otis and Zelma Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews, is the vice president and executive director for The Otis Redding Foundation. She joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about their new children’s book.

Interview Highlights:

Why The Otis Redding Foundation wanted to create this book:

“What had happened was a lot of organizations had been paying attention to what we at The Otis Redding Foundation had been doing as it relates to literacy, and music, and arts education. Then going back to how adamant my parents were about education and reading. We teamed up with Akashic Books to present this beautifully illustrated song lyric book that talks about what is so needed in the world today and will always be needed in the world,” said Redding-Andrews.

Otis Redding was one of the greatest singers of the 20th century and a seminal artist in soul music. (Courtesy of Zelma Redding)

How a children’s story was created from Otis Redding’s lyrics:

“When I was working with the publisher, we were trying to determine if we should intertwine the lyrics or just use Otis Redding’s lyrics or should we use Aretha’s (Franklin) lyrics. And really, we felt like Aretha’s lyrics and her whole chain of the song really relate to kids and young girls today, while still being able to filter over to a young male perspective. It takes on both sides actually. It talks about respect for yourself, as a young woman or young man, and also respect for the people you should have around you,” said Redding-Andrews.

What it teaches young children:

“What we really wanted to come across in this is for children around the world to understand that the word respect will get you to any path you want to take,” said Redding-Andrews.

“RESPECT” will be released on Oct. 6.

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