Gray, GA – The Redding family and the Otis Redding Memorial Committee unveiled the permanent marker honoring the legendary soul singer’s ties to the city of Gray, Ga. and Jones County on Friday, September 18 at 7 p.m. The marker is located at the corner of Highway 11 and Highway 129, in downtown Gray, Ga. near The Station.
“It was a tedious two-year process of planning and research to present this special marker, and I am extremely pleased with the outcome and the impact it will have on this community,” says Karla Redding-Andrews, Redding’s daughter and executive director of the Otis Redding Foundation. “We are so grateful to continue to live, work and support the community of Gray and Jones County as they give back in honor of my dad, including this special memorial marker,” says Zelma Redding, Otis Redding’s widow and president of the Otis Redding Foundation. “I want to thank each of the committee members who worked so hard to make it a reality”
The Otis Redding Memorial Marker efforts were initiated by Thad Childs, Market President at Morris Bank. Headed by Childs, a committee worked on the design and implementation of the marker for two years, culminating in a beautiful, unique and powerful creation.
The team worked with Therese Huffman at Signature Design to create the design, and Denyse Companies to fabricate the marker. At seven feet tall and seven feet wide, and designed to look like an album sleeve (complete with a black groove-lined record popping out, showing the face of Otis Redding), the impressive marker will be hard to miss. It is complete with photos and graphics depicting Redding’s life and legacy connecting him to his hometown community. One side depicts the legendary artist kneeling and singing into the mic at a concert, and the other has him in the fields of his ranch. An interactive panel with a selection of Redding’s songs completes the marker, ensuring Otis Redding’s voice can be heard by all.
“It’s been amazing to work with a community, a committee and a family that is so dedicated to a project,” says Sherri Rollins, Real Estate Development and Management at Gateway Development Center, and committee member of the Otis Redding Memorial. “We are proud of its location, and know we will get a lot of visitors to the marker.”