These Arms of Mine

Album: Fundamental Things (1962)
Charted: 85
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the first chart hit for Otis Redding, coming in at #85 on the Hot 100 and #20 R&B. Redding wrote the song, which finds him full of desire as his arms yearn to hold the girl he dreams of.
  • Steve Cropper, who was a producer and guitarist at Stax Records and worked closely with Redding, explained to Rolling Stone magazine: "The first time we saw Otis was in 1962, and he was driving a car for Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers out of Macon, Georgia. They had a moderate hit, an instrumental called 'Love Twist,' and they wanted to record a follow-up in Memphis with my band, Booker T. and the MG's. I saw this big guy get out from behind the wheel and go to the back of the truck and start unloading equipment. That was Otis. And we had no idea he was also a singer. In those days, instrumental groups always carried a singer so they could play the songs on the radio that the kids wanted to dance to.

    We had a few minutes left at the end of the session, and Al Jackson, our drummer, said, 'This guy with Johnny, he wants us to hear him sing.' Booker had already left for the day, so I sat down at the piano, which I play only a little for writing. Otis said, 'Just gimme those church things.' We call them triplets in music. I said, 'What key?' He said, 'It don't matter.'

    He started singing 'These Arms of Mine.' And, man, my hair stood on end. Jim [Stewart, co-owner of Stax] came running out and said, 'That's it! That's it! Where is everybody? We gotta get this on tape!' So I grabbed all the musicians who hadn't left already for their night gigs, and we recorded it right there. When you hear something that's better than anything you ever heard, you know it, and it was unanimous. We almost wore out the tape playing it afterwards. 'These Arms of Mine' was the first of 17 hit singles he had in a row." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This opens the Syfy TV series 12 Monkeys as we're introduced to James Cole (Aaron Stanford), a survivor of a plague that wiped out most of the world's population. Cole must travel back in time to prevent the deadly virus that set the tragedy in motion, and if he's successful, he'll also be erased from existence. The song becomes an important theme during Cole's journey throughout the series, showing up in the episodes "Arms Of Mine," "The Keys," and (the finale) "The Beginning Part 2."
  • This was also used in these TV shows:

    The Following ("New Blood" - 2015)
    Lost ("S.O.S." - 2006)

    And in these movies:

    The Sapphires (2012)
    Pirate Radio (2009)
    Glory Road (2006)
    Edtv (1999)
    Road House (1989)
    Dirty Dancing (1987)

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 19th 1963, "These Arms of Mine" by Otis Redding entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #91; the following week it was at #85 and that was its peak position of the chart, then on its third and final week on the Top 100 it was at #98...
    It reached #20 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart; it was his debut record on both charts...
    Between 1962 and 1969 he had thirty-one* records make the R&B Singles chart; thirteen made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay"...
    He just missed having three #1 records when "I've Been Loving You Too Long" {1965} and "Tramp" {1967} both peaked at #2 on the R&B Singles chart...
    'The King of Soul' passed away on December 10th, 1967 at the young age of 26...
    May he R.I.P.
    * Ten of his thirty-one records charted on the R&B Singles chart after his untimely death.
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