Sam & Dave are the American music pioneers behind “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” and “Soul Man.”
From 1964-70 they ruled the Hot 100 with 13 straight appearances and two top 10 singles.
The group comes from Miami and first recorded for Henry Stone and Steve Alaimo.
There was a little club in the heart of the Liberty City area of Miami called the King Of Hearts owned by John Lomelo. In later years he would become ‘mayor for life’ of the small burg of Sunrise, FL before eventually being indicted for corruption and then being re-elected.
Steve Alaimo used to work the club as a singer, and Henry used to hang out there a couple nights a week. “John Lomelo was a great guy. I used to love that place,” says Stone.
Sam & Dave were on the talent show circuit and came to be known for turning the party out every time they hit the stage.
Alaimo produced and Stone released a few Sam & Dave sides on the Marlin and Alston labels. Then Sam & Dave had some releases on Roulette Records, produced by Henry Glover. These efforts met little commercial success, but the group’s talent would not be denied.
Henry Stone took Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records to see them at King Of Hearts and they were blown away. Soon Sam and Dave signed a recording contract with Atlantic.
Wexler asked Stone what he thought of recording them through STAX, and Stone suggested he have a couple of young producers he’d been keeping tabs on produce the records. So Isaac Hayes and David Porter took on the project, Booker T & The MGs backed the group, and the rest is history.