In 1967, the 26-year-old rhythm-and-blues singer Otis Redding died in Madison's Lake Monona when his plane crashed en route to a concert here.
Madison has not taken this piece of music history lightly. The city built a monument to Redding by the lake. And local media retell the story of his crash every year on Dec. 10.
But I have a happier story to tell about Otis Redding. It's a story about his music touching a child, several decades after his death.
Right after my son was born, I wanted to make sure he had a feeling for music. None of my child-rearing books covered this topic, so I had to improvise. The solution I hit on was Otis Redding. I decided to play Redding's soulful songs for my newborn every day for the first year of his life. If "Respect" and "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" didn't hardwire music into his brain, nothing would.
Can an early dose of Otis Redding really teach a baby to love music? On the 47th anniversary of Redding's death, check out this audio commentary for the answer. It originally aired on Wisconsin Public Radio's Wisconsin Life.