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Alan Light is the author of several books, including “The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of ‘Hallelujah.’ ”

Otis Redding was only 26 years old when his life was cut tragically short. Given that truncated span however, he used his God-given talents to craft a legacy that would span generations. As a singer, he could alternate from tender vulnerability to raging, volcanic fury on a dime, expressing through his voice nearly every shade of the human condition. As a showman, there was hardly anyone this side of James Brown capable of matching his flashy, eye-popping histrionics. And as a songwriter, his compositions, though seemingly simple at first glance, contained multitudes that continue to reverberate through car speakers and hi-fi units around the globe.

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