Eddie Floyd

Dublin Core


Eddie Floyd


Montgomery, Montgomery County, Stax Records, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Jerry Wexler, Blues music, R&B music, Soul music,


Eddie Floyd (June 27, 1937 - )

The “Memphis sound” that mixed Southern soul with R&B, jazz, with a little country and gospel thrown in, was an important and influential sound in the 1960s. Led by such singers as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Wilson Pickett, none was more influential to the sound coming out of the Stax recording studios than singer-songwriter Eddie Floyd. Edward Lee Floyd was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on June 25, 1937. Six weeks later, his family moved to Detroit, Michigan. As a youth, Eddie often migrated between Michigan and Alabama. His exposure to both Southern soul and blues, and to the burgeoning R&B sound that would grow into the Motown sound of the 1960s, no doubt influenced both his singing and songwriting. In 1955, Eddie co-founded The Falcons, an R&B group considered to be the musical godfather to such later Motown groups asThe Temptations and The Four Tops. The group had a top twenty hit with “You’re So Fine” in 1959. A year later, Wilson Pickett joined the group and, with him, they recorded “I Found a Love” in 1960, backed by the singing group the Primettes, who would later change their name to the Supremes. In 1963, Pickett left the group and The Falcons disbanded. In 1965, Eddie moved to Memphis to work at Stax Records as a songwriter and producer. While at Stax, Eddie wrote “Comfort Me” for Carla Thomas, the title song of her album which peaked at #11 on the R&B chart in 1965. In 1966, Eddie co-wrote “Knock On Wood” with guitarist Steve Cropper, a member of Stax’s house band, Booker T. and the M.G.’s, and was originally intended to be recorded by Otis Redding. However, record executive Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, the distributor for Stax, convinced the president of Stax to release Eddie’s demo version instead. Wexler’s instincts proved to be correct, as “Knock On Wood” sold over a million singles and reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as spending a week at #1 on the Soul Singles chart. His recording career reborn, Eddie became Stax’s most dependable hitmaker, releasing “I’ve Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do),” which Eddie also co-wrote with Booker T. Jones and Alvertis Isabell (Al Bell), reached #2 on Billboard’s R&B chart in 1968, and “Raise Your Hand,” another Eddie Floyd co-composition, reached #11 on Billboard’s Black Singles chart in 1967. Both songs, along with “Knock On Wood” have been covered by various artists over the years. Eddie’s singing career, however, didn’t diminish his songwriting career. Frequently teaming up with Cropper, Booker T., or both, to pen such hits as Sam & Dave’s “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me” (#20 R&B – 1968), Otis Redding’s “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” (#30 R&B – 1967), and Floyd and Cropper’s biggest hit, Wilson Pickett’s “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)” (#1 Black Singles – 1966), a song that has been covered by Otis Redding, Trace Adkins, and Bruce Springsteen, among other. Eddie and Wilson also performed the song in the 1998 movie, “Blues Brothers 2000.” When Stax closed its doors due to financial difficulties in 1975, Eddie’s career faltered for the remainder of the decade. The 1980s and 1990s saw a revival of Eddie’s career, as he toured with former Stax labelmates Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn as the Blue Brothers Band, as well sitting in with Bill Wyman’s (of The Rolling Stones) group Rhythm Kings on several tour dates. In 2008, Eddie rejoined the revived Stax Records label, releasing “Eddie Loves You So” in 2008, “At Christmas Time” in 2012, and “Down By the Sea” in 2013. In 2003, Eddie was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Watch and Listen:
"Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kceiks__PsE
"I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) - Eddie Floyd" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJYRH7JhHW0
"California Girl - Eddie Floyd" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfAj2UU1ej4
"634-5789 - Wilson Pickett" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2apquxKKQ&list=PLvC2ishH1j7R11CyBdFTDFw8dGelCM5vF
"634-5789 - Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, Blues Brothers 2000" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY-t_lJ6GHE


John Griffin, University of North Alabama


Eddie Floyd: Alabama Music Hall of Fame http://alamhof.org/inductees/timeline/2003/eddie-floyd/ Accessed November 29, 2016
Eddie Floyd Official Website http://eddiefloyd.com/ Accessed November 29, 2016
Eddie Floyd bio allmusic.com http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eddie-floyd-mn0000168958/ Accessed November 29, 2016
Soulsville, USA: The Story of STAX Records https://books.google.com/books?id=XLdsRwpZ9oYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=soulsville&sig=ACfU3U0srTq7YeEyniP8y-FMSFpArxeB8w#v=onepage&q=soulsville&f=false/ Accessed December 5, 2016
Eddie Floyd historyofrock.com http://www.history-of-rock.com/eddie_floyd.htm/ Accessed December 5, 2016

All images courtesy of Mr. George Lair and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, unless otherwise noted.


Alabama Cultural Resource Center




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