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Hal Leonard


Wrote ("Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" with Steve Cropper


Widely regarded as the ultimate soul man, both by those who knew him in his own time as well as by those who've simply "heard the records," Otis Redding, of all those artists whose death has come in mid-career, has had a momentous impact on the music of our time. Redding also tends to be remembered almost as much for his electrifying style in performance and recording as for his songwriting skills. And yet these too, particularly for a man whose life was extinguished in an airplane crash at age 26, were of exceptional proportions.

Strangely enough, the song that was to become perhaps his very best known, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay," was recorded just three weeks before his death in December 1967. A month after his passing, in the plane's dive into the icy waters of Wisconsin's Lake Monona, the song was released as a single and immediately began its race up the charts, soon to become Billboard's first-ever posthumous number one chart entry.

While "Dock of the Bay" was a kind of brooding, dark voicing of despair, ("I've got nothin' to live for/Look like nothin' gonna come my way,") his music, in general, was exultant and joyful. According to journalist Ruth Robinson, in her introduction to Rhino Records 1993 box-set of Redding's songs, "It is currently a revisionist theory to equate soul with the darker side of man's musical expression, blues. That fanner of the flame of 'Trouble's got a hold on me' music, might well be the father of the form if it is, the glorified exaltation found in church on any Sunday…

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Discography Highlights

RESPECT Otis Redding
Irving Music, Inc.

SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY Stephen Cropper, Otis Redding
Irving Music, Inc.

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