Sam & Dave took the Call-and-Response technique to the next level!
Sam & Dave was 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.
Some say 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 which 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 M.G.’s, a racially mixed band that in the 60s was pretty much unheard of. This was Stax’s answer to Berry Gordy‘s Motown house band, The Funk Brothers.
Booker T. & The M.G.’s helped with writing songs and featured on recordings by Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, Bill Withers, and Albert King. they also released the now instrumental classic Green Onions.
For Sam & Dave, the band put down tunes such as Hold On, I’m Comin’, Soul Man, and Soothe Me.
When Sam & Dave thought it was finally all over, in 1979, The Blues Brothers, with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi hit the cinema.
The main characters were clearly based on Sam & Dave, they re-recorded Soul Man with Booker T. & The M.G.’s who even feature in the film.
This gave Sam & Dave even more tour dates before they finally parted ways after a New Year’s Eve gig in 1981, walking off stage, never to speak again.
Sam & Dave tunes | Related pages
Hold On, I’m Comin’
| Ab7 | Ab7 | Ab7 | Ab7 |
Don’t you ever, be sad. Lean on me, when the times are bad.
| Db9 | Db9 |
When the day comes and you are down,
| G G7 G | G G7 G |
Coming to you, on a dusty road,
| G G7 G | G G7 G |
good loving, I got a truckload.