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Then I Watch ´Em Roll Away Again
Wall Street Journal, by Marc Myers

Original Article

Posted By:Mike PHX, 1/5/2013 9:57:21 AM

On Jan. 8, 1968,Otis Redding´s "(Sittin´ on) the Dock of the Bay" was released on Stax´s Volt label. Co-written by Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper, the single reached No. 1 on Billboard´s pop chart in March 1968, where it remained for four weeks. Two Grammys followed, along with the song´s induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. Redding never heard the single. On Dec. 10, 1967—just 18 days after the recording session—the 26-year-old singer died in a plane crash in Wisconsin, killing everyone on board except Ben Cauley, the trumpeter in his band.

Comments:
Poignant reminiscences of the making of a classic song.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: 66Strat, 1/5/2013 10:12:49 AM     (No. 9100025)

Beautiful article about a beautiful song. Real musicians making real music - how I miss it.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: wilko, 1/5/2013 10:15:17 AM     (No. 9100033)

It´s probably the one song that brings back my Army days in Alaska and Vietnam. It was the soundtrack of my life.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: pinger, 1/5/2013 10:25:59 AM     (No. 9100056)

I´ve known the song for its entire life...but never knew the story behind it. Very interesting.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Axeman, 1/5/2013 10:32:32 AM     (No. 9100073)

I was going to print exactly what #1 did, so, dittos #1, I couldn´t say it better.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Grambo, 1/5/2013 10:43:35 AM     (No. 9100106)

Added dittos to #1.

I used to drive past that house boat on my morning commute, windows down and that song playing in the car. It makes the story, which I’d never heard until now, all the more poignant.

Thanks for posting.


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Reply 6 - Posted by: WimeTarmerFable, 1/5/2013 11:03:44 AM     (No. 9100145)

Great article for all of us who worked in radio and played this song a zillion times...

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Ribicon, 1/5/2013 12:04:58 PM     (No. 9100267)

Poignant is the word. Otis was a great performer, and Booker T. and the MGs and Stax records in general really had something special; hitting on all cylinders.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: markinalpine, 1/5/2013 12:05:49 PM     (No. 9100268)

I am NOT criticizing anyone involved with making this wonderful song, nor those, like me, who have enjoyed it over the years, but you cannot sit ON a dock*. The dock is actually the area of water next to a pier or wharf where a vessel is berthed. I was told this by a Naval Lieutenant in SE Asia in the early 70´s, as we sat in a bar listening to the song.
*Unless you were using a floating chair, I guess.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: wilarrbie, 1/5/2013 12:46:14 PM     (No. 9100354)

Lighten up on the starch in yer undies, there #8. There´s a time and place - miss it and it makes you suck all the joy out of the moment.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Vaquero45, 1/5/2013 1:44:06 PM     (No. 9100449)

I enjoyed the picture of Steve Cropper - compare it with what he looked like in "The Blues Brothers" when he played guitar (and "Duck" Dunn played bass) with the Blues Brothers band in 1980. Like #2, that song takes me back to my days in the Marine Corps in early 1968.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: hicksvillekid59, 1/5/2013 1:48:26 PM     (No. 9100455)

I worked with a woman in the mid to late 1960s and she would tell me stories of how well her nephew was doing as a pilot. He had just gotten to be the pilot for Otis Redding and would tell us what a great person Otis Redding was. He would take ghetto kids and give them a year on tour with his band and then turn them loose on music careers of their own.

While driving to work one morning I heard that Otis Redding´s plane had crashed and all were lost. When I got to work, Myrtle was there crying. Her nephew was, indeed, the pilot of the plane. So sad for all involved.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: GOPJihad, 1/5/2013 8:07:55 PM     (No. 9100805)

Otis Redding passed away a couple of years before I was born, but I was fortunate in having parents with good musical taste, and a gift of "The Complete Otis Redding" box set from Rhino when I was in my early 20s.

If you can get your hands on it, do it.

What a treat.

The music coming out of Stax/Volt from that era was incredible - and then you look at the musicians Otis Redding played and wrote music with - such as Booker T & The MGs. Amazing.

A favorite Otis Redding live performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, backed by Booker T & The M.G.s and the Mar-Keys:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOCY_-ibDfA



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Reply 13 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 1/5/2013 10:54:50 PM     (No. 9100953)

I believe # 1 said it all.

Back when musicians dressed for the occassion and you could understand what they were singing- without vulgarity. It was a good time in life.

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