Though soul music great Otis Redding had several R&B hits and two Top 20 pop hits ("I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)," "Try a Little Tenderness"), the singer's biggest hit wouldn't happen during his lifetime. "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," a song written by Redding and frequent collaborator Steve Cropper, would prove to be Redding's sole certified million-seller. The gentleness and quiet introspection of the track signaled a new direction for Redding: more contemplative, even more folksy than his previous efforts. The genesis of the song was created as Redding relaxed on a boat in Sausalito, CA, after his spectacular performance at the Monterey Pop Festival during the summer of 1967. The concert is captured in the 1968 movie documentary Monterey Pop. Redding and Cropper began recording the song in Stax Records' Memphis, TN, studio around the first week of December 1967 with the MG's, including Isaac Hayes on piano. The singer's crisp vocals are due in part to his recovery from throat surgery for removal of polyps from his vocal cords. It's interesting to listen to the creative process used in the making of the record from the outtakes found on the 1992 Stax/Fantasy CD Remember Me. It must have been emotionally upheaving for producer/guitarist Cropper to finish production on the track in lieu of his friend's sudden demise. Recorded just three days before his death in a fatal plane crash, Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" went gold, holding down the number one R&B spot for two weeks and the number one pop position for four weeks in early 1968.