The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

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The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding

Soul Music

The song “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding is one of the more haunting and beautiful 60s songs. Otis Redding co-wrote this soul song with guitarist for Booker T and the M.G.’s Steve Cropper. Redding recorded it twice in 1967 at Stax Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and died when his plane crashed into Lake Monona near Madison, Wisconsin, just shortly before the recorded was released. He was 26 years old. “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” went on to become his biggest hit and the first posthumous #1 single in the U.S. In 1968, it rose to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles Chart, and #2 on the U.K. Singles Chart. “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” is among Rolling Stone Magazine’s 400 Greatest Songs of All Time List. The album The Dock of the Bay was the first posthumous album to reach #1 on the U.K. Charts.

At the time Redding was writing the song, he had just finished his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. He had been in San Francisco playing at the Fillmore when he stayed at a boathouse in Sausalito and liked the idea of the ships coming in at the bay. Redding had recorded the whistling at the end of the song because he forgot the words to a rap he was going to put there. Steve Cropper did a final mix of the song after Redding’s death. He added the sounds of waves and seagulls, which Cropper said Redding had wanted. Sam “Bluzman” Taylor re-did the whistling at the end.

Numerous artists from many genres have covered the song, including Glen Campbell, Cher, Boby Dylan, Percy Sledge, Dee Clark, Michael Bolton, Pearl Jam, Garth Brooks, and Sammy Hagar, just to mention a few.

Redding was born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Dawson, Georgia. Whether he was called The Big O or The King of Soul, he was mutli-talented. He was a singer, songwriters, record producer, arranger, and talent scout. Besides “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” he is known for “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness.”

Here are the lyrics to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding:

“Sitting in the morning sun
I’ll be sitting when the evening come
Watching the ships roll in
And I’ll watch ’em roll away again, yeah

I’m sitting on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sitting on the dock of the bay
Wasting time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco bay
I have nothing to live for
Look like nothing’s gonna come my way

So I’m just go sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
I’m sitting on the dock of the bay
Wasting time

Look like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remain the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess, I’ll remain the same, yes

Sitting here resting my bones
And this loneliness won’t leave me alone, yes
Two thousand miles I roam
Just to make this dock my home

Now I’m just go sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away, ooh
Sitting on the dock of the bay
Wasting time”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 40+ songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.

1 Comment

  1. Sue says:

    Always loved this song. I am so happy to know it’s in Rolling Stones’ Greatest Hits collection. Thanks again!

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