It’s really, REALLY hard to talk up an Otis Redding song. Try it sometime. It ain’t easy.
It’s freakin’ OTIS REDDING.
But I realized I was missing some classic R&B from my list, and man there are some great ones to choose from. I’ll start with Redding’s 1967 cover of the classic Christmas standard Merry Christmas Baby. This favorite has been covered many, many times from such standout artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Booker T. and the MGs, and contemporary performers like Hanson, Christina Aguilera, and Cee-Lo Green. But I love Redding’s take on this. It’s like a huge cup of musical Egg Nog, smooth but punchy, and just perfect.