Mr. Pitiful

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"Mr. Pitiful"
Single by Otis Redding
from the album Sings Soul Ballads
B-side"That's How Strong My Love Is"
Format7" single
RecordedDecember 1964
Stax Recording Studios
(Memphis, Tennessee)
Songwriter(s)Steve Cropper, Otis Redding
Producer(s)Jim Stewart
Otis Redding singles chronology
"Mr. Pitiful"
"I've Been Loving You Too Long"

"Mr. Pitiful" is a song written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper and included on the 1965 album The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads.

It also appeared on The Commitments soundtrack (sung by Andrew Strong). Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin makes a nod to Otis Redding in the song "The Crunge" (from the album Houses of the Holy), which is known for paying tribute to soul and funk. The song was also covered by Tower of Power on their album Great American Soulbook and by Taj Mahal on his 1997 album Seňor Blues. It was also by Etta James as "Miss Pitiful." The Rolling Stones covered it live five times between August and December 2005 on their A Bigger Bang Tour.


"Mr. Pitiful" was recorded in December 1964 at the Stax Records studios. The song was written by guitarist Steve Cropper and singer Otis Redding, his first collaboration with Cropper, as a response to a statement made by radio disc jockey Moohah Williams, when he nicknamed Redding as "Mr. Pitiful", because of sounding pitiful when singing ballads. Cropper heard this and had the idea to write a song with that name when taking a shower. Cropper then asked Redding in a car how he felt about this idea, and soon after they recorded the song in about 10 minutes. It was finally cut two or three times and then released with the B-side "That's How Strong My Love Is" as a single. The song became a hit and the most successful from the album The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard R&B and at number 41 on Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1]


  1. ^ Bowman 1997, p. 56.
  • Bowman, Rob (1997). Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records. New York, NY: Schirmer Trade. ISBN 978-0-8256-7284-2. OCLC 36824884.

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