Back in 1949 it was Jerry Wexler who first coined the term “Rhythm and Blues” to replace the more offensive term “race music” for the Billboard charts. It only seems appropriate that it was Jerry who signed the last two men in the above list to a record contract with Stax records as the duo Sam and Dave in 1965.
At the time, producing duties at Stax, which was Atlantic Records Memphis division, were being handled by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. The combination of Sam and Dave and these two producers was responsible for some of the most instantly recognizable Soul/R&B hits to this day. "Hold On! I'm A Comin'" and "Soul Man" set a standard for mainstream Rhythm and Blues that has not been equaled.
Brassy horn sections, driving bass lines, and just enough sexuality to make them the tiniest bit titillating made them perfect for radio and popular acceptance. They may not have had the down and dirty appeal of James Brown or the power of Wilson Pickett and Al Green, but they had a toughness that set them apart from the even more packaged sound of Motown-signed singers.
Sam and Dave were far more than two-hit wonders; in fact they had in the course of their relatively short career ten Top Twenty hits, all of them made while working with the team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter. For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to add any of their music to your collection, the American Legends label has just released a collection of digitally remastered hits called Double Dynamite.
As a sampler of their career, and a sampler of how soul and R&B don’t have to surrender any of their heart and still be popular, Double Dynamite is invaluable. Of course it contains the hits "Soul Man" and "Hold On! I'm Comin'," but it also includes the eight other songs of theirs that made it into the Top Twenty.