SAM AND DAVE

Sam Moore, born October 12, 1935, in Miami, and David Prater, born May 9, 1937, in Ocilla, Georgia, were the most popular black duo of the 1960s. Both grew up singing in church, and were veterans of the southern club circuit prior to meeting at Miami’s King of Hearts club in 1961. When Prater forgot the lyrics to Jackie Wilson’s "Doggin’ Around," at an amateur night show, Moore—who was acting as MC—coached him through the song. They went on to become a fixture in the Miami club scene, eventually singing with Roulette Records.

They switched to Atlantic in 1965, where executive Jerry Wexler loaned them out to the Stax label. Their gospel fervor was effectively captured on recordings by the Stax production/songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter. While most readily identified with the rhythm and blues market, the team known as "Double Dynamite" nevertheless crossed over to the pop charts with hits such as "Hold On, I’m Comin’" (Stax 189; 1966), "Soul Man" (Stax 231; 1967), and "I Thank You" (Stax 242; 1968).

At the peak of their success, Moore and Prater were barely speaking to one another. Although they broke up in 1970, there were several efforts at reunification. Following the Blues Brothers’ hit remake of "Soul Man" (Atlantic 3545; 1978), the duo was besieged with bookings from clubs across the country. Their last show together took place New Year’s Eve, at San Francisco’s Old Waldorf; Prater then began touring with Sam Daniels. In 1983 Moore would tell the Los Angeles Herald Examiner that the instigating factor in their feud was that he’d "lost respect" for his ex-partner when Prater shot his own wife during a 1968 domestic dispute. Prater would die April 9, 1988 in a Georgia automobile accident. Moore continued his career, singing on Bruce Springsteen’s Human Touch (Columbia 53000; 1992). Later in 1992, Sam and Dave were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [Romanowski and George-Warren. 1995.]

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