Mellow, maybe even a bit melancholy, the final song on our Top 100 Songs of Summer Countdown before we hit the Top 5 sets the mood for some late-season reflections on summers past and present.
Hamptons 100 Songs of Summer #6
“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding
Sitting on a houseboat in California back in 1967, Otis Redding watched the ships roll in and away again, and with that one line he and guitarist Steve Cropper went on to craft one of the mellowest, most bittersweet sagas ever put in song.
Redding reportedly planned to replace his now-famous whistling at the end of the song with actual words, but he never got the chance. He died in a plane crash less than three weeks after the song was recorded. Posthumously, the song added to his already established legend, topping the R&B and pop charts in 1968, winnig two Grammy awards and selling more than 4 million copies. It landed at #28 on the Rolling Stone list of Greatest Songs of All Time (the album of the same name landed at 161 on their list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time), and remains to this day more perfectly matched to the rhythms of a late-day idle by the water that perhaps any song ever recorded. Those aren’t real waves we hear in the background, just a simulation, but let them inspire you nonetheless to head to a waterfront spot on the East End, sit on a dock and settle in for the real thing.