Otis Redding's 'Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay:' A #1 Hit From Beyond The Grave

By Jacob Shelton
Soul singer Otis Redding poses for a portrait in May 1966 in London, England. (Photo by Cyrus Andrews/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

When Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" was released in January 1968, it was a final gift to music lovers. Only weeks earlier, Redding  had passed away in a tragic plane crash that took the lives of six other men. The song, whether audiences could hear it or not, was technically unfinished. Redding was aware of the power that his soulful anthem to mindfulness and contemplation was destined for pop stardom, but in its current form the song lacks the singer's final touches.

Even though the song remained unfinished in Redding's mind, today it's one of the most beloved soul tracks of the '60s. It's a song that can be listened to in any setting, whether you're slow dancing at a wedding or if you find yourself on the dock of a bay watching the tide roll away.