Sam And Dave were signed by Atlantic in 1965 but were loaned to Stax as fully fledged Stax recording artists.
Although their first release was written by David Porter alone, they became the recipients of songs from one of the
great song writing partnerships in soul music – Isaac Hayes and David Porter.
‘When Something Is Wrong With My Baby’ by Sam and Dave was released in 1967. Just another Stax release at the time,
it is undoubtedly the duo’s finest moment and is also noteworthy as the only ballad they ever produced while they
were recording for the Stax label.
Unfortunately they have been somewhat reduced to parody, but back in the day these guys were badd !!
- Played Miami quite a lot back in the day. I do believe one of them lives here now. Music made by artists like that can
never be redone by todays artists and be done with justice.
- Who would be fool enough to parody Sam and Dave?? Teamed up with Porter and Hayes, they absolutely were the baddest. Hard to say what their one best recording is, they had so many, but my favorite is probably “Hold On, I’m Comin’!”
That’s some hard-driving stuff that’ll swing you in an’ out of bad health!
- How did you feel about the so called “Blues Brothers” ?
I wonder if others reading this board felt insulted by that depiction of Black music ?
- As I recall the two of them did not get along with each other in real life.
How important do you think it is for artists who work together to be “friends” ??
- Of course the Blues Brothers are just a cartoon. In a way that movie was good for the musicians, I suppose. They
must’ve been paid well and the movie gave the guest-artists (like Aretha, JB, Brother Ray, Cab Calloway…) and guys in
the band (some of them members of the old Stax house band) some widespread exposure. It’s just sad that there are
people out there who would now go to House of Blues in LA and feel disappointed if Dan Aykroyd didn’t show up, you
know? But what other way is there to reach that kind of people?
- STEVE CROPPER ON SAM & DAVE:
One of my fond memories is the song “Soul Man.” I was working on some tapes in the back, late in the evening. It was quitting time for everyone else. All the secretaries and everybody had gone. It was probably six-thirty or seven o’clock. And Isaac came back and he said, “You got a minute?” I said, “What do you need?” He said, “I want you to help me on something.” He said, “Grab your guitar. We got this great song we want to cut tomorrow and I can’t come up with an intro for it.” We were always kind of known for our identity intros. Whether they actually fit the song or not, the idea was to get everybody’s attention instrumentally and then, boom, hit them with the song. And he did, he had this great song and there was a set of changes he was playing around with. We would always just go from this change to that, and it didn’t matter if it really fit as long as it felt good. He started playing that cycle of changes, and I came up with those little third, fifth intervals and wrote that intro. The thing in the middle, “Play it, Steve,” it just happened. Sam said it. I was sitting in a chair and I had a Zippo cigarette lighter and I put it on my knee. And when it came time for that lick, I’d pick up the cigarette lighter and play this lick. It happens three times in the song; it happens at the end of each verse. And just that particular take, Sam looking through the window was kind of getting a kick out of watching me pick up this cigarette lighter without it bouncing off of my leg and playing this lick. And he just came out with “Play it, Steve.” So the rest of that is history. Then when we did it with Belushi and Aykroyd, he [Belushi] picked up on it and said it again.
- Now I am certainly no “purist” as a matter of fact I am far from it. I am one that feels that “good music” should be accessible or no body will ever hear it !!
However in the case of Sam & Dave there was no need to “water down” the music in order to make it accessible. Why
do you suppose that Hollywood felt it necessary to do so ?
- Sam & Dave were definitely two badd brothers. The first cassette that I ever bought was Sam & Dave. It was a cassette single with “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby” on one side, and “Soul Man” on the other. Those songs are
probably the ones their fans identify them with. It’s hard to believe that was almost 30 years ago !
Yeah it does kinda make one feel “old” when thinking about some of these songs.
- I remember hearing them first on WWRL 1600 AM in New York.
Does anyone else remember when the only stations where you could hear “soul music” on the radio was on:
1. AM radio
2. At the “other” end of the dial
- I feel it is very important for musicians to be good friends. Friendship is good in order for the creative talents to really mingle. One person just can’t do it alone. Besides sometimes a good audience can spot the indifferences and that does nothing good for your business careers. They were a great duo. I heard the same thing about them not getting along off stage. I wonder how true that was.
- I do. Here in Miami if you wanted soul music you had one main station and that was WMBM. Now we black folks have finally gotten onto FM. Our only black AM station is not only a black station but is black owned. They play only gospel on it now. It is owned by a local church that has a membership of almost 10,000 members. The number 1 station around here is white owned but it plays all soul music and is on FM. But you must also remember back in those days white stations