The Story Of How Otis Redding’s ‘Dock Of The Bay’ Got Released

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Otis Redding’s posthumous hit “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released 50 years ago today. But it almost never got out of the recording studio.

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This year marks 50 years since Otis Redding died. He’d ignited the crowd at the Monterey Pop Festival in the summer of 1967; later that year, he and his band were en route to a show in Madison, Wisc., when their plane hit rough weather and crashed in an icy lake. Redding was 26 years old.

Half a century later, Redding’s influence as a singer and spirit of soul music remains. Author Jonathan Gould, who’s written a new biography called Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life, joined NPR’s Scott Simon to discuss the singer’s relatively short, yet profoundly impactful career. Hear their conversation at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.

 

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