Well, it’s a tough week. We lost Solomon Burke, one of the great R&B legends.
But on the other hand, today is Sam Moore‘s 75th birthday. He’s the only name check left from Arthur Conley’s famous song, “Sweet Soul Music.” When he sings now, he’s got the weight of pop music history on him and the legacy of his great friends like Billy Preston, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and Lou Rawls.
Happy Birthday, Sam!
Born in Miami, but closely identified with Memphis and Stax Records, Sam was the driving force in the famed duo Sam & Dave. Their hits of course include “Soul Man” and “Hold On! I’m Coming.” They had more than a dozen chart records with songs from Isaac Hayes and David Porter, produced by Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd on the Atlantic and Stax labels. Dave Prater died in 1988.
Sam has never been out of the public eye. A year ago he was featured with Bruce Springsteen and brought down the house in Madison Square Garden for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary. His most recent album, “Overnight Sensational,” was produced by Randy Jackson and featured a dozen or more superstar guests. Sam’s famous “lost” album, his 1972 solo recording, got 4 star4 ratings when it was finally released in 2005.
Next week, Sam is the featured performer at Denise Rich‘s star studded Angel Ball for Cancer Research. In December he’ll play a bunch of shows in Tokyo at the famed Blue Note.
This week, Sam will be feted in Washington DC where his wife of 28 years, Joyce, is planning a bunch of surprises. And next up: more projects, shows and a new album.
On Inauguration Day 2009, Sam headlined the Creative Coalition’s show with Sting and Elvis Costello.
Amazingly, Sam’s honey rich voice continues to get better with age. He recently sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at the final Yankees home game with the Red Sox acappella; the Yankees won, and I attribute that to Sam.
Sam, to quote one of your songs: You got us hummin’!