Happy 50th: Otis Redding, THE DOCK OF THE BAY
50 years ago today, the world was graced with the first posthumously-released album by Otis Redding, one which was destined to be the most successful of his posthumous releases as a result of its title track.
Produced by Redding’s longtime musical associate, Steve Cropper, the 11 songs on THE DOCK OF THE DAY were taken from various sessions during the course of Redding’s life, with some tracks dating back to 1965.
The LP consisted of a little less than half Redding-written material – he either wrote or co-wrote 5 of the 11 songs – alongside compositions by Eddie Floyd and Booker T. Jones (“I Love You More Than Words Can Say”), Cropper, Floyd, and Deanie Parker (“Don’t Mess With Cupid), Billy Hill (“The Glory of Love”), Lowell Fulson and Jimmy McCracklin (“Tramp”), Roy Alfred and Andy Gibson (“The Huckle-Buck”), and the Jimmy Cox classic, “Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out).”
As for those other five tracks, you’ve got “Open the Door,” “I’m Coming Home,” and “Ole Man Trouble,” all of which were composed solely by Redding, plus “Let Me Come on Home,” which Redding co-wrote with Jones, and – yes, you knew it was coming – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” a Redding / Cropper composition.
The success of the latter track helped send THE DOCK OF THE BAY to the top of the UK Albums chart and the top of Billboard’s Hot R&B LPs chart, and it also climbed to #4 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. You already know how successful the title track proved to be, but Redding scored two additional posthumous hit singles with “The Glory of Love” and “I Love You More Than Words Can Say.”
All told, THE DOCK OF THE BAY was a major boon to Redding’s legacy, but it also served to make people realize just how much more he might’ve accomplished if he hadn’t been taken from us so soon.
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