Eddie Floyd is an American R&B singer who is well known as a stalwart of the legendary soul label Stax Records. He was born in Alabama and grew up in Flint Michigan. He was a founder the group The Falcons, who were one of the first Detroit soul acts along with the likes of The Four Tops and The Temptations. Eddie Floyd first signed with Stax in 1965. He teamed up with Steve Cropper to write songs for Wilson Picket (former singer with The Falcons) who was now signed to Atlantic Records. Atlantic distributed much of Stax’s recordings. Jerry Wexler bought Picket over to Detroit to work with Booker T and the MG’s, of whom Cropper was the guitarist. These sessions were successful, spawning a number of hits, a couple of which were written by Floyd.
In 1966, Floyd had a breakthrough hit with “Knock on Wood”, which had originally been written for Otis Redding. Floyd’s version was released after Wexler convinced Stax president Jim Stewart to do so. In the years since its release, the song has been covered by over a hundred artists.
Over the course of his career, Floyd has been one of Stax’s most consistent and successful artists, having many hits over a long number of years. In addition to this, he wrote material for many other Stax artists.
In the eighties, Floyd became an occasional member of The Blues Brothers band, a group based on the film of the same name and founded by its stars Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. He fronted them on a series of world tours and appeared in the film’s 1998 sequel “The Blues Brothers 2000”, performing a duet with Wilson Pickett.
Other things that Floyd has done in recent years include performing with former Rolling Stones guitarist Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. In 2008, he returned to Stax where he released his album Eddie Loves You So, his first album of new material in six years. Still alive and recording at the age of eighty-three, in 2012 he was inducted into the California Beach Music Hall of Fame and the Memphis music Hall of Fame in 2018.
# 10 – The Falcons – Your So Fine
Kicking off this list we start with the very early part of Floyd’s career with this 1959 track with the group he formed which also included Mack Rice. The song was a million-selling hit, reaching number seventeen on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Charts. It has had several covers versions, one most notably being by Wilson Pickett before he joined the band as lead vocalist.
# 9 – Big Bird
Second on this Eddie Floyd Songs list is this stand alone single released in 1967. It was written while Eddie Floyd waited at a London airport to attend Otis Redding’s funeral. Although the song was not commercially successful, reaching only 132 on the US Pop charts, it is a fan favorite and has something of a cult following. One particularly notable cover of it is by British punk/mod band The Jam.
# 8 – “Don’t Tell Your Mama (Where You’ve Been)”
Continuing with our Top 10 Eddie Floyd songs list we turn to the great Stax single “Don’t Tell Your Mama (Where You’ve Been)” The song was released in 1969. “Don’t Tell Your Mama (Where You’ve Been)” was a successful single release for Eddie Floyd . It was a top 20 hit on the Billboard R&B charts. The lyrics at times would be considered very sexist in todays world, but 1969 was a very different time from 2020.
# 7 – Hi-Heel Sneakers
Here is the first of several covers on this list and also one of several included on Eddie Floyd’s 1967 debut album Knock on Wood. The song was originally performed by Tommy Tucker in 1963. The song has also been recorded by numerous other musicians such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and David Cassidy.
# 6 – 634-5789
Next on the list is song that was written by Floyd and Steve Cropper and was originally performed by Pickett on his 1966 album The Exciting Wilson Pickett before being recorded by Eddie Floyd on Knock On Wood released a year later. It topped the Hot Rhythm and Blues Singles chart and reached number thirteen on the Pop Singles chart.
# 5 – My Girl
Kicking off the second half of this list is cover of a track originally by The Temptations in 1964. This version was released in 1970 and reached 116 on the US Pop charts and forty-three on the R&B charts. The original was the first ever number one for the Temptations and is considered to be one the greatest soul numbers of all time.
# 4 – If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody
Up next is a song included on the Knock on Wood album that is a cover of a song originally recorded by Rudy Clark in 1961 and written by James Ray. It is one of several covers of the song, with others being by Aretha Franklin and Ben E. King. The Beatles also used to perform it in many of their early gigs, with John Lennon apparently being a particularly big fan of it.
# 3 – Bring It On Home To Me
At number three on this Eddie Floyd songs list is a cover of a Sam Cooke song originally released in 1962. This cover version recorded in 1968 was featured on Floyd’s third album released in 1969 titled I’ve Never Found A Girl. Released as a single, it was very successful, peaking at number four on the R&B chart as well as number seventeen on the Hot 100. It is one of many covers of the song, with other versions be recorded by people such as The Animals, Sonny and Cher and Otis Redding.
# 2 – Raise Your Hand
Just of the top spot is song from the Knock on Wood album written by Floyd, Steve Cropper and Alvertis Isbell. It was released as single in 1967 where it reached number sixteen on the Black Singles chart and seventy-nine on the Pop Singles chart. Janis Joplin often performed this song as part of her concert repertoire and notably performed it at the 1969 Woodstock festival. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band also used to perform it live for many years.
# 1 – Knock on Wood
At the top spot is Floyd’s biggest hit and title track of the first album written by him and Steve Cropper. It is one of the most covered songs of all time, with the two most famous covers being by David Bowie and Amii Stewart. The original reached number twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a week at the top spot of the Soul Singles Chart.
Top 10 Eddie Floyd Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020
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