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jerryking : stax   13

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay — why Otis Redding’s biggest hit wasn’t actually a soul song
October 6, 2019 | FT.com | by Dan Einav.

“This is my first million seller,” announced Otis Redding to nervous-looking studio bosses in early December 1967. He was referring to his upcoming record, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, which would indeed prove to be his first seven-figure release, eventually selling several times that amount. It would also be the last song he ever worked on. Two days after his second recording session on this breezy new ballad, he was dead — killed in a light-aircraft crash.

Executives at Atlantic Records cynically requested that a new song be released immediately. Redding’s collaborator and studio guitarist, and the song’s co-writer, Steve Cropper, was forced to set aside his grief and transform the rough cuts of “The Dock of the Bay” into a coherent track in just 24 hours. The result was an unassuming yet near-perfect composition that would serve as a fitting legacy for one of soul’s greatest talents.

But “The Dock of the Bay” wasn’t really a soul song in the conventional sense. In the summer of 1967, Redding immersed himself in The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper and was inspired by the band’s devotion to stress-testing the limits of popular music. “It’s time for me to change my music,” said Redding, as his wife and employers voiced concerns about his “poppy” new direction which took him away from his roots in soul and R&B.

That autumn Redding was recovering after a punishing touring schedule on a houseboat in Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, owned by promoter Bill Graham. It was there, idly watching the ferries sail to-and-from the harbour, that he conceived of that scene-setting first verse and the basic chords for “The Dock of the Bay”. Back in the studio, he asked Cropper to flesh out the melody and the brilliant, bittersweet lyrics.
'60s  1967  Atlantic_Records  Beatles  music  music_labels  Otis_Redding  pop_music  R&B  singers  songs  soul  Stax  tributes 
october 2019 by jerryking
Book Review: 'Respect Yourself' by Robert Gordon - WSJ.com
Nov. 15, 2013 | WSJ | By David Kirby.

Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion
By Robert Gordon
Bloomsbury, 463 pages, $30
music  music_labels  Stax  book_reviews  books  soul  Memphis  Muscle_Shoals 
november 2013 by jerryking
Big Star, a great rock band that never won the fame it deserved - The Globe and Mail
Geoff Pevere

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jul. 04 2013,
music  Stax  movies  films 
july 2013 by jerryking
With Donald Dunn gone, the bottom falls out of the blues - The Globe and Mail
BRAD WHEELER
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, May. 14, 2012
obituaries  musicians  guitarists  Stax  blues 
may 2012 by jerryking
Faculty of Fine Arts | Faculty: Profs: R. Bowman
Professor Bowman pioneered popular music studies at York University. He lectures, publishes and broadcasts in many areas of popular music, from country, R & B and gospel to reggae, rap and funk. He has written liner notes for dozens of recordings and regularly authors, produces and advises on major documentary and CD reissue projects for record companies in Europe and North America....Professor Bowman's book, Soulsville, U.S.A. - The Story of Stax Records (1997), a definitive history of the legendary Memphis-based record label, has garnered numerous honours, including the Sweet Soul Music Award at the Poretta Soul Festival, Italy, and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award.
Stax  Colleges_&_Universities  professors  York_University  R&B  gospel  reggae  hip_hop  music_festivals  funk 
november 2011 by jerryking
Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration CD Album
For those daunted by the idea of wading through the multi-volume COMPLETE STAX/VOLT SINGLES series, this two-CD best-of celebrating the label's 50th anniversary is a much more manageable item. Featuring well-known milestones in the label's history, such as Booker T. & The MGs' "Green Onions," the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There," and Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," and lesser-known gems like William Bell and Judy Clay's "Private Number," Frederick Knight's "I've Been Lonely for So Long," and Shirley Brown's "Woman to Woman," STAX 50TH is a well-chosen, informatively annotated overview of one of the 1960s and '70s' finest R&B labels.Spin (p.91) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] fine introduction to Southern soul's greatest label, form its '60s R&B heyday to its '70s funk science.
music  anniversaries  Stax  the_South  soul  music_labels  '60s  '70s  R&B  funk  music_catalogues 
november 2011 by jerryking
Golden Oldies: Stax Releases A 50th-Anniversary Boxed Set - WSJ.com
APRIL 4, 2007 WSJ JIM FUSILLI. A joy from the first cut to the
last, "Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration" is a reminder of the glory
days of R&B, when singer, song & band came together with fervor
to spark body & soul. The music all but sweats with the musicians'
passion: No drum machines & no vocal bent to pitch by software. The
punchy horns are real brass & reeds, not lines played on
synthesizers. Now & then, a musician flubs a note or misses a cue,
but an absolute reliance on musicians' creativity can deliver brilliant
pop music that's timeless. Especially if the vocalists are the likes of
Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and the Staple Singers...Stax
began when Jim Stewart & his sister Estelle Axton started Satellite
Records in Brunswick, Tenn. They moved it to Memphis and converted a
movie theater into a recording studio; Stewart and . Axton retained the
theater's sloping floor and angled walls, creating a room that was
responsible for the label's distinctive clean sound.
Stax  soul  R&B  blues  anniversaries  music_labels  Jim_Fusilli  music  Memphis  golden_oldies  music_catalogues  pop_music 
june 2011 by jerryking

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