Otis Redding began writing "(Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay" while he was living in a rented houseboat near the Golden Gate Bridge. While relaxing after a grueling tour, he was inspired by seeing the ships going in and out of San Francisco Bay.
50 years ago today, Redding finished recording the song. Three days later he was killed in a plane crash. "(Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay" was released in January of 1968 and became the first posthumously-released song to top the charts.
To listen to a portion of the song, click the audio player above.