Otis Redding / Pain In My Heart (US, ATCO Records, 33-161) <March 1964>


Otis Redding / Pain In My Heart (US, ATCO Records, 33-161) <March 1964>
(SIDE 1) C-12063-B
(SIDE 2) C-12064-B

"Pain in My Heart" is the debut album of soul singer-songwriter Otis Redding. Redding recorded for Volt Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records, based in Memphis, Tennessee. Volt LPs were initially issued on the Atco label, which released this album (the singles were issued on the Volt label).

The album includes four successful singles, released in 1962 and 1963: "These Arms of Mine", "That's What My Heart Needs", "Security", and the title track. Since Billboard did not publish an R&B singles chart from late 1963 to early 1965, the R&B chart peaks of the latter two singles are unknown.

As a member of the Pat T. Cake and the Mighty Panthers, Redding toured in the Southern United States, mostly on the Chitlin' Circuit, a string of nightclubs and dance halls hospitable to African-American musicians when racial segregation of performance venues was prevalent. Guitarist Johnny Jenkins, who helped Redding win a talent contest at the Hillview Springs Social Club 15 times in row and also at the talent show "The Teenage Party", left the band to become a featured artist with the Pinetoppers. Around this time, Redding met Phil Walden, the future founder of the recording company Phil Walden and Associates (even though without an associate), and later Bobby Smith, who ran Confederate Records, a small label. He signed with Confederate and recorded his second single, "Shout Bamalama" (a rewrite of his "Gamma Lamma"), with his band Otis and the Shooters. Wayne Cochran, the only solo artist signed to Confederate, became the Pinetoppers' bass guitarist.

At the same time, Walden started to look for a record label. Atlantic Records representative Joe Galkin was interested in working with Jenkins and around 1962 proposed to send him to the Stax studio in Memphis. On the way to a Pinetoppers studio session, Redding drove for Jenkins, as the latter did not have a driver's license. Jenkins performed with Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and when the session ended early, Redding received the opportunity to perform two songs. The first was "Hey Hey Baby", but studio chief Jim Stewart thought it sounded too much like Little Richard. Next, he sang "These Arms of Mine", which became his first single for Stax. After that performance, Redding was signed by Stax.