Sam & Dave Biography

Sam & Dave took call and response to the next level


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Sam & Dave explain Soul Music to reporter in Finland

Sam & Dave

Sam & Dave were a soul duo that recorded and performed together between 1961 and 1981.

For the majority of that time, Sam Moore and Dave Prater’s relationship would swing between arguing or not speaking to each other at all.

During the 70s, they constantly broke up and would typically arrive separately to shows, have individual dressing rooms and not even look at each other on stage.

Apparently, they both put this down to that the other person didn’t really want to be part of the duo.

More likely, it came from touring an average of 280 shows a year between 1967 and 1969.

The journey to becoming an international success started in 1961 when Sam met Dave on the club circuit in Miami.

After performing together just once, they decided to work together and by doing so developed their signature gospel-influence, call-and-response vocal style.

The following year, they were spotted by Steve Alaimo who signed them to Marlin records.

After just two singles, they moved on to Roulette Records in New York, where they would continue to release singles.

In 1964 they signed to Atlantic records who in turn sent them to a small subsidiary Memphis label called Stax in order to get a more authentic southern sound.

At Stax, they met the legendary house band Booker T & The MG’s, a racially mixed band which in the 60s was pretty much unheard of. This was Stax answer to Berry Gordy‘s Motown house band, The Funk Brothers.

Booker T & The MG’s helped with writing songs and featured on recordings by Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, Bill Withers, and Albert King. they also released the instrumental ‘Green Onions’.

For Sam & Dave, they put down hits such as ’Hold On I’m Coming’, ‘Soul Man’, ‘Soothe Me’.

When Sam & Dave thought it was finally all over, in 1979, The Blues Brothers, with Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi hit the cinema.

The main characters were clearly based on Sam & Dave, they re-recorded ‘Soul Man’ with Booker T and The MG’s who even feature in the film.

This gave the act even more tour dates before they finally parted ways after a New Years Eve gig in 1981, walking off stage never to speak again.

Related Pages

Soul Man

‘Soul Man’ is a song first recorded and performed by Sam & Dave. The band behind them was the legendary Booker T and The MG’s.

Steve Cropper was a member of this Stax house band. In the course, we study not only what Steve did on the record but also in various live performances and even different keys.

Finally, you get the play the entire song with a live band.

Preview video lessons: Soul Man

Soul Man – Lyrics

Coming to you, on a dusty road
Good loving, I got a truckload
And when you get it, you got something
Don’t worry, ’cause I’m coming
I’m a soul man

For complete lyrics, go to Soul Man lyrics.

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