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The Man of Soul

Many thanks to my good friend Stevie “Captain Wack” Long who brought to my attention the fact that yesterday was the 80th birthday of the one and only Sam Moore. Old folks will recall Sam's diamond-tipped vocals, strong enough to bust through a brick wall, in bad-ass balance with the raspier bellows of the late Dave Prater.

Sam and Dave was the super coolest soul duo of the 1960s, gifting us with a catalogue of aural gems such as Soul Man, Hold On I’m Coming, Soothe Me, You Don’t Know Like I Know, I Thank You, Wrap it Up and so very many more.

It is entirely appropriate that Stevie messaged me yesterday afternoon with the news of Sam’s birthday. It was thirty-something years ago that Wack and I took second place in a beyond-amateur lip-sync contest, held in a backwater, children-of-the-corn campground eerily hidden somewhere within the confines of the Indiana state borders. Neither he nor I could remember exactly where this mighty contest took place, due in large part to the effects of the magical elixir responsible for putting us on stage in the first place. Regardless, our musical selection was Sam and Dave’s Soul Man. Our performance featured the amped-up gesticulations of men on a mission to bring home the gold, only to be denied by some on-the-take know-nothing judges who clearly did not appreciate our precision lip synching, other-worldly rhythms, and impeccable musical selection. To borrow a phrase, we was robbed! But I digress.

In honor of Sam Moore’s lifetime of musical achievements, I offer you a reverse birthday gift…one given to us from the celebrant. Musical veterans, enjoy this amazing flashback. Youngsters, grab paper and pencil and take notes. The coolness factor of this video is simply unequaled. But to help you recognize more cool than you can handle, use this handy checklist whilst enjoying the essence of hip…Sam and Dave.

  • Black and white film. Not an iPhone filter…the real deal

  • Killer vocals, unaided by the evil that is AutoTune

  • Style. I mean, c’mon. Look at those open collars and skin-tight slacks.

  • Smooth, I mean smooooooth dance moves

  • Booker T on organ, namesake of Booker T and the MG's

  • Duck Dunn, late bass player extraordinaire, of Booker T and the MG’s fame, and featured prominently in The Blue Brothers movie

  • Steve Cropper, a living legend of R&B guitar, also a member of the MG’s and famed long-haired dude in The Blues Brothers movie

  • Real horns

  • One seriously righteous musical break, featuring a bass solo, some of the coolest moves ever danced, and a reference to a big bottle of gin

  • A jump-into-the-crowd moment that freaks out security personnel

  • And a slip-behind-the-curtain exit

Watch it. Then watch it again to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Then take all your money and buy every Sam and Dave record available. Your cool will exponentially increase.

Stevie and I will gladly take on all lip-sync challengers.

Happy birthday, Sam!

Timothy Condron

October 13, 2015

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