Remembering Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’

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Submitted by karajayne on Wed, 03/16/2022 - 06:42

Remembering Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’

Posted 16 Mar 2022
otis redding
Otis Redding. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

This week in 1968, Otis Redding’s soulful masterpiece, (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay was at number one on the US chart. The single was recorded by Otis three days before he tragically died in a plane crash on 10th December 1967, at age 26. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay was released just a few weeks later, becoming the first posthumous number one single in US chart history and selling over four million copies worldwide.

While on tour with the Bar-Kays in August 1967, Redding wrote the first verse of the song, under the abbreviated title Dock of the Bay, on a houseboat in California. He had just completed his famed performance at the Monterey Pop Festival just weeks earlier. While touring in support of the albums King & Queen (a collaboration with female vocalist Carla Thomas) and Live in Europe, he continued to scribble lines of the song on napkins and hotel paper. In November of that year, he joined producer and guitarist Steve Cropper at the Stax recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee, to record the song.

Otis Redding | ‘(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay’

After Redding's death, Cropper mixed Dock of the Bay at Stax Studios. He added the sound of seagulls and waves crashing to the background, as Redding had requested, recalling the sounds he heard when he was staying on the houseboat.

(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay has been covered by stacks of incredible artists! Check out some of our favourite versions below. 

Michael Bolton | ‘(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay’

Willie Nelson | ‘(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay’

Pearl Jam | ‘(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay’

READ MORE: HEAVY SOUL: THE INTERSECTION OF SOUL & ROCK

GET OTIS REDDING ALBUMS, HERE. 

Listen to Otis Redding on Spotify: 

Listen to Otis Redding on Apple Music: 

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