Otis Redding Foundation’s Karla Redding-Andrews Receives She Rocks Award from Dinah Gretsch
They were back-to-back nights that three generations of the Gretsch family and Karla Redding-Andrews will not soon forget.
On January 25th, Dinah Gretsch along with daughter Lena Thomas and grandson Logan, attended An Evening of Respect: Celebrating Otis Redding & 50 Years of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. The Gretsch family had been invited by Karla Redding-Andrews, Otis Redding’s daughter and the executive director of the Otis Redding Foundation.
Three generations of the Redding family also attended the celebration including Karla’s brothers Dexter and Otis III, cousin Mark Lockett, son Jarred, and mother Zelma, who started the Otis Redding Foundation in 1999. Karla lovingly refers to her mother as “The Queen.”
The Thursday night benefit show for The Otis Redding Foundation was a high-energy evening featuring an impressive lineup of performers that included the Dap-Kings, Nikka Costa, Paul Janeway, Ty Taylor, Warren Haynes, Marcus King, Michelle Williams, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dexter and Otis Redding III, and many more artists. The evening ended with the performers onstage for the grand finale of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” It was definitely “Showtime” at the legendary Apollo that night.
A short 24 hours (and 2,735 miles) later, Dinah and husband Fred, daughter Lena, and two grandsons, Daniel Gretsch and Logan Thomas, were on the West Coast attending the She Rocks Awards ceremony at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. Dinah had the honor of introducing Karla and presenting her with the She Rocks Champions Award in recognition of the philanthropic work of the Otis Redding Foundation.
Presented and produced by the Women’s International Music Network (WiMN) during Winter NAMM, the She Rocks Awards event pays tribute to women who are standouts in the music industry. In addition to Karla, other women honored included Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Katie Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, Exene Cervenka, members of the groundbreaking, all female-rock band, Fanny, and several other notable, talented women.
At a time when women are getting long-overdue respect in the music industry, Karla was overjoyed that the honorees closed the Sixth-Annual She Rocks Awards show with a rousing finale of “Respect,” the song written by Otis Redding that became a #1 hit and signature song for Aretha Franklin.
Dinah, a 2014 She Rocks Award winner, and Karla have been friends for many years and both currently serve on the Board of the Georgia Music Foundation. “It was a personal honor to introduce and give this award to a lady I have so much love and respect for,” said Dinah. “We became instant friends when we met 20 years ago because we share four of the same passions: family, preserving legacies, keeping dreams alive, and, one that’s near and dear to my heart, enriching the lives of children through participation in music.”
Karla’s mother, Zelma, is the visionary who started the Otis Redding Foundation, which is based in Macon, Georgia. Zelma’s goals were to preserve her late husband’s legacy and continue his passion for involving students in local music and education programs. Today, the Foundation offers music camps, lessons, songwriting classes, plus scholarship and networking opportunities for students who want to pursue their dreams in music and the arts.
As part of her acceptance speech, Karla stated, “I surround myself with strong, passionate women like my friend Dinah Gretsch and all the women honored tonight, to keep me inspired, motivated, and lifted, so that every dream we dream can, and will, be a reality.”
Dinah summed up the evening by saying, “When I think of all the young women Karla has influenced, and the positive impact she has made in her community and the music industry, I can’t think of a woman more deserving of this award. I think Otis Redding would be very proud of his daughter tonight.”
For more information on the Otis Redding Foundation, visit otisreddingfoundation.org
For more information on the Women’s International Music Network, visit thewimn.com