(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was recorded 3 days before Otis Redding died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967.
The melancholic Dock of the Bay was a departure for Redding in the tone and style of the song. Redding had been floored by The Beatles’ song, A Day in the Life, which had been released earlier that year. He wanted to strike a similar emotional chord but in his own way.
At the final recording session, Redding told his producer he wanted to add sounds of seagulls and whistling at the end of the song, as he had written the song on a houseboat and had heard those sounds while composing the song.
Dock of the Bay would go on to reach number one on the charts after Redding’s death, and would go on to be his biggest and most popular song.