Behind the Hit — Dock of the Bay [VIDEO]
I've always been fascinated by the stories behind some of the greatest Classic Hits. I guess that's why I was destined to be exactly where I am. One part of my job that I love the most is when I get a chance to tell some of the stories behind the songs.
Now, while I'd love to credit the source for some of my information on this song, I have no idea where I learned this stuff. It was somewhere along the line in my 35 plus years in radio, so if I'm repeating something that is on the net somewhere, I didn't take it from you. So there.
It seems that Otils Redding was looking to have a little time to himself so he rented a place, ostensibly in San Francisco, by the water. One day, while looking out to sea, he came up with the line, "watching the ships roll in and I watch them roll away again." That's really all he had until he took the idea to the super soul producer Steve Cropper.
According to legend, it was Cropper who actually wrote the rest of the song, but he wanted to write it through Otis Redding's eyes. He ended up writing the song about Otis and, you have to admit, it's hard to believe that Otis didn't write the whole thing himself.
I've also heard a rumor that the whistling at the end was not planned. According to the story I heard, Otis forgot part of the lyrics and just whistled his way to the end of the song. that could be a total crock since he whistled on an alternate take as well, but it makes for a nice story!
I thought it might be interesting to include an alternate take of that great song. According to the poster on YouTube, this is take 1 of the song. It's not the hit version, but it could have been. I guess that's how it works when you take a great song and give it to an artist like Otis Redding.