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June 15, 2007

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Mark

Art Garfunkel
Tina Turner
Bono
Eddie Vedder
Steve Perry
Prince

Mark

(not saying they're "better", just chatting)

Rachel

Whatever your criteria might be, Stevie Wonder can't be overlooked as a worthy tie. (Even though he loses me after about 1985.)

anderson

STEVIE. WONDER.

anderson

stevie. wonder.

isaac

Oh yeah, I forgot stevie wonder. But I think it's a tie.

Troubador

Paul McCartney.

(When he was a Beatle of course.)

isaac

That's funny, Troubador... I was going to put Paul McCartney, but didn't because of his post-Beatles output.

One thing Otis has going for him (along with many other artists) is that he died before he could go south...

Troubador

How about a list of artists whose legacy would've been stronger if they'd checked out early? Perhaps starting with Elvis?

Abe Goldfarb

Otis was the sound of my childhood. Every time the whole family got in the car, there was something playing on the tape deck. Sometimes it was Queen, sometimes the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds era), sometimes James Herriot reading his memoirs, or the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy original radio series. But most often, dad would pop in one of the dozens of tapes from the Atlantic Rhythm and Blues Collection, which put Otis in heavy rotation.

Nearly every happy memory of a car trip from my youth is indelibly branded by the warm, throaty beauty of Otis Redding's voice. Every time I think of the world passing by outside my window, every time I think of the sun washing over a field of grass or a forest, the horns wash in and Otis begins to sing. It's as though by absorbing all of the world's laments into his voice, he made it a better and more beautiful place for the rest of us. He was out there, taking her easy for all us sinners.

I'm glad you mentioned Bowie and Mercury so I didn't have to. Still, I think Roy Orbison has to be in the ring as well. Not only one of the best, one of the most unmistakable.

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