On Jan. 8, 1968,Otis Redding´s "(Sittin´ on) the Dock of the Bay" was released on Stax´s Volt label. Co-written by Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper, the single reached No. 1 on Billboard´s pop chart in March 1968, where it remained for four weeks. Two Grammys followed, along with the song´s induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. Redding never heard the single. On Dec. 10, 1967—just 18 days after the recording session—the 26-year-old singer died in a plane crash in Wisconsin, killing everyone on board except Ben Cauley, the trumpeter in his band.
Comments: Poignant reminiscences of the making of a classic song.
I am NOT criticizing anyone involved with making this wonderful song, nor those, like me, who have enjoyed it over the years, but you cannot sit ON a dock*. The dock is actually the area of water next to a pier or wharf where a vessel is berthed. I was told this by a Naval Lieutenant in SE Asia in the early 70´s, as we sat in a bar listening to the song. *Unless you were using a floating chair, I guess.
I enjoyed the picture of Steve Cropper - compare it with what he looked like in "The Blues Brothers" when he played guitar (and "Duck" Dunn played bass) with the Blues Brothers band in 1980. Like #2, that song takes me back to my days in the Marine Corps in early 1968.
I worked with a woman in the mid to late 1960s and she would tell me stories of how well her nephew was doing as a pilot. He had just gotten to be the pilot for Otis Redding and would tell us what a great person Otis Redding was. He would take ghetto kids and give them a year on tour with his band and then turn them loose on music careers of their own.
While driving to work one morning I heard that Otis Redding´s plane had crashed and all were lost. When I got to work, Myrtle was there crying. Her nephew was, indeed, the pilot of the plane. So sad for all involved.
Otis Redding passed away a couple of years before I was born, but I was fortunate in having parents with good musical taste, and a gift of "The Complete Otis Redding" box set from Rhino when I was in my early 20s.
If you can get your hands on it, do it.
What a treat.
The music coming out of Stax/Volt from that era was incredible - and then you look at the musicians Otis Redding played and wrote music with - such as Booker T & The MGs. Amazing.
A favorite Otis Redding live performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, backed by Booker T & The M.G.s and the Mar-Keys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOCY_-ibDfA
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