Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Otis Redding

I wonder if Otis Redding and Steve Cropper knew that Sitting on the Dock of the Bay was going to become an instant classic. It's such a feel good song. Since it was recorded shortly before Otis passed away, only Cropper has been able to see its success. I love this quote from Cropper during an NPR segment about Otis:

Otis was one of those kind of guys who had 100 ideas. Anytime he came in to record he always had 10 or 15 different intros or titles, or whatever. He had been at San Francisco playing The Fillmore, and he was staying at a boathouse, which is where he got the idea of the ship coming in. That's about all he had: "I watch the ships come in and I watch them roll away again." I took that and finished the lyrics. If you listen to the songs I wrote with Otis, most of the lyrics are about him. He didn't usually write about himself, but I did. "Mr. Pitiful," "Sad Song (Fa-Fa);" they were about Otis' life. "Dock Of The Bay" was exactly that: "I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay" was all about him going out to San Francisco to perform.

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