"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" is a song co-written by soul singer Otis Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper. It was first recorded by Otis Redding in 1967, shortly before his death. It was released posthumously on Stax Records' Volt label in 1968, becoming the first posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.
While on tour with the Bar-Kays in August 1967, Redding wrote the first verse of the song, under the abbreviated title "Dock of the Bay," on a houseboat at Waldo Point in Sausalito, California. In 1966 and 1967, Redding performed "A Hard Day's Night" and "Day Tripper" at some of his concerts. He had come off his famed performance at the Monterey Pop Festival just months earlier in June 1967. While touring in support of the LPs King & Queen (collaborations with female vocalist Carla Thomas) and his live set Live in Europe, he continued to scribble lines of the song on napkins and hotel paper. In November of that year he joined producer and guitarist Steve Cropper at the Stax recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
In a 1990 interview on NPR's Fresh Air, Cropper explained the "origins" of the song:
Otis was one of those kind of guys who had 100 ideas. Anytime he came...