EXCLUSIVE: From the dock of the bay to Pacific Road

Messenger Newspapers: Steve Cropper Steve Cropper

THE man who co-wrote Otis Redding’s biggest hit comes to Wirral next month as part of a UK tour.

Steve Cropper, who co-wrote the 1968 American number one (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay', is special guest of fellow '60s legends The Animals at Pacific Road in Woodside on Thursday, September 22.

The Animals were the second British band to top the American charts after The Beatles with the now multi-million selling and legendary anthem, House of the Rising Sun.

They subsequently achieved more twenty global Top Ten hit records, many of which gained the Number One slot in various parts of the world.

Looking forward to the show, Missouri-born Steve - who also worked for American record company Stax in the 1960s - told the Globe: “We usually do this tour every two years and it’s great to be back.

“We don’t really do the tour for money, it’s more for fun these days. I’m always doing something.

“In some way it’s like leaving an old car in the garage. If you leave it in there long enough, eventually, it wll go rusty.”

The 70-year-old's new solo album, Dedicated, features a band that includes music greats BB King, Queen's Brian May and Steve Winwood.

Steve was founding member of both Booker T and the MGs, whose hits included Green Onions and Soul Limbo. He was involved in virtually every record issued by Stax from the Autumn 1961 until the end of 1970.

His credits assure Cropper of an honoured place in the soul music hall of fame.

In 1977, Steve received a call from American comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd which resulted in the formation of the Blues Brothers Band, who recorded three albums and made the hilarious eponymously-titled movie.

Steve said: "The band's still touring today, and I try to take part whenever I can."

His immense contribution to popular music over the last four decades though has earned him Mojo Magazine in 1996 as the number two guitarist of all-time. The late Jimi Hendrix was number one.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine readers voted him among the Top 100 Guitar Players of all-time.

Looking back on his career, Steve said: "I've been very fortunate to have worked with some of the world’s greatest musicians.

"I can shoot myself in the foot that I never got round to writing a song for Elvis."

(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of A Bay was recorded by Otis Redding in 1967, just days before his death.

It was released posthumously a year later and got to number one in the US chart.

Steve said: "Of all the people I've worked with Otis was, without question, the best.

"He not only proved himself in the studio, he proved himself live."

Tickets for the September 22 show, which starts at 8pm, are from the box office on 0151 666 0000 or www.pacificroad.co.uk

The Globe has two pairs of tickets to give away.

For a chance of winning, answer the following question: In which year was (Sittin' On) The Dock Of A Bay was recorded in which year?

Send the answer, with your contact details, to: Steve Cropper, Wirral Globe, Haymarket Court, Hinson Street, Birkenhead CH41 5BX. The entry deadline is 5pm on Tuesday, September 13.

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