Redding intended the song to be different from all his previous work and became his most popular release selling 4 million copies worldwide
Otis Redding posthumously released single “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” peaks to No.1 on this day in 1968
Co-written by Otis Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” was recorded by Redding twice in 1967, including once just days before his death in a plane crash. The song was released on Stax Records’ Volt label in 1968 and went on to become his signature song. During the last year of his life, Otis Redding was decided to make a turning point on his songwriting, he wanted his songs to become not just Soul music, but also with a Pop and experimental feeling to it, by working more with the available recording studio technology. Reportedly he became so influenced by what The Beatles had done with “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” that he too wanted to follow that direction. This led to some criticism from the record label who feared that changing his music style could result in a decrease of his rising popularity, but Redding still went ahead, and with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” he nearly fulfilled that wish. in August 1967, Redding wrote the first verse of the song, under the abbreviated title “Dock of the Bay,” on a houseboat at Waldo Point in Sausalito, California and his final recorded work, including “Dock of the Bay,” which was recorded on November 22, with additional overdubs on December 7, but Redding had considered the song to be unfinished and planned to record what he considered a final version, but never got the chance. Otis Redding continued to tour after the recording sessions. On December 10, his charter plane crashed into Lake Monona, outside Madison, Wisconsin. Redding and six others were killed.After Redding’s death, Cropper mixed “Dock of the Bay” at Stax Studios. He added the sound of seagulls and waves crashing into 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” was released on January 8, 1968, and peaked to No.1 on March 16, 1968, at the Hot 100 where it remained in that position for the next five weeks. “Dock of the Bay” was popular in countries across the world and became Redding’s most successful record, selling more than four million copies worldwide.The song went on to win two Grammy Awards: Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Jim Morrison made reference to “Dock of the Bay” in The Doors’ song “Runnin’ Blue”, written by Robby Krieger, from their 1969 album “The Soft Parade”. Morrison sings an acapella intro for the song, a tribute poem he wrote for Otis Redding. “Poor Otis dead and gone, left me here to sing his song, pretty little girl with a red dress on, poor Otis dead and gone.” And during the verse, the lyrics “Got to find a dock and a bay” appear more than once; as well as several other references to Redding’s song.
Watch the official music video for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” by Otis Redding
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