Throwback: Otis Redding-(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay

Otis Redding and Steve Cropper wrote, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” in reference to Redding’s experience of living on a houseboat in 1967 not long after his famed Monterrey Pop Festival performance. Redding sang about leaving his home in Georgia to perform in San Francisco. He noted the ships he saw coming and going as well as the seagulls in the sky. His performance at the festival and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” were turning points in his career taking him from a mostly Black audience into the white mainstream. Redding was inspired by The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and told his wife that he wanted to try a different sound. Some of his colleagues feared that the song would ruin Stax Records’ reputation as a soul label and alienate Redding’s Black fans. The November recording sessions would be his last because he died in a plane crash December 10th.”(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” became the first song to hit the number one spot posthumously in the history of the charts. It was also Redding’s only song to take the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Otis Redding is one of the few artists referred to as the King of Soul along with James Brown. His influence went beyond his peers and his legacy is alive in the powerful emotion embedded in every relevant soul and R&B artist to emerge since his passing. Redding’s music is still talked about and he has been honored with a memorial statue in his hometown of Macon, Georgia, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a bridge, a library, Billboard’s Otis Redding Excellence Award and placement into Hollywood’s Rockwalk. The Otis Redding Foundation was created in 2007 by his widow, Zelma Redding, and its mission is to empower youth through music education. 

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