Sam and Dave – “Hold On I’m Coming!”

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It doesn’t matter where you are or where you may be sitting. When the music hits you, it hits you!  This is such a funny story and a situation many of us can put ourselves in.  Wow, wow, wow!   This song is filled with so much soul which is great for the soul!! A song that was a great hit and should have made it further up the charts than it did.  During the big quarantine, I am doing a lot of exercising and dancing. This is one of the songs I am dancing to. David Porter and Isaac Hayes wrote a Timeless song that will last in our hearts and deep down in our souls forever!

While songwriter/producer David Porter was in the toilet, his songwriting partner Isaac Hayes (later a solo star with “Theme From Shaft“) yelled at him to hurry up so they could get back to work, as he was frustrated by the lack of progress they had made that day. Porter responded, “Hold on man, I’m coming.” The immediately inspired Porter quickly finished his business and excitedly told Hayes that ” Hold On, I’m Coming” would be a great title for a song. Hayes has repeated this story in various interviews, including one with Reuters in 2005.

With a frothy delivery by Sam & Dave and a title that is something often heard in the bedroom, this song was deemed too prurient to air by many radio stations, and it stalled at #21 in the US. The lyrics are quite innocent, with the duo offering emotional support to help the lady through some tough times – what could be wrong with that?

Sam & Dave recorded for Stax Records, which was a popular soul music label in the ’60s and early ’70s. Isaac Hayes was also on the label, which created a very loose and comfortable atmosphere for their artists – at least until they had a financial meltdown in the mid-’70s. While Motown worked hard on the visual styles and choreography of their artists, Stax left most of that up to the singers, which meant that most of them just came out and sang. Sam & Dave were the exceptions, doing lots of crazy dancing and improvisation in their stage shows, which was always on display when they performed this song.

This song was featured in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. It plays from a cassette in Jake and Elwood’s car during the first police car chase. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd modeled their act on Sam & Dave. 

Aretha Franklin covered this for her 1981 album, Love All The Hurt Away, and earned a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance – her first Grammy win since her 1974 rendition of “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” won in the same category.

Booker T. Jones played the tambourine on this song. He recalled to Uncut magazine:

“I think everything else had been taken – Issac (Hayes) was playing piano, I don’t think we had an organ on it – and for some reason, when they were just about to finish recording the song, they decided they needed a tambourine. So I jumped up on the drum kit and played the tambourine.  

 Song Lyrics – 

Don’t you ever feel sad,
Lean on me when times are bad.
When the day comes and you’re down,
In a river of trouble and about to drown,

 Just hold on, I’m comin’,
Hold on, I’m comin’.

I’m goin’ my way, your lover.
If you get cold I’ll be your cover.
Don’t have to worry `cause I’m here,
No need to suffer baby, I’m here.

‘Cause hold on, I’m comin’
Hold on, I’m comin’
Hold on, I’m comin’
Hold on, I’m comin’

Reach out to me for satisfaction,
Call my name now for quick reaction.

Don’t you ever feel sad,
Lean on me when times are bad.
When the day comes and you’re down,
In a river of trouble and about to drown,

Just hold on, I’m comin’
Hold on, I’m comin’

Just hold on, I’m comin’
Hold on, I’m comin’

Just hold on, I’m comin’
Hold on, I’m comin’

Writer/s: David Porter & Isaac Hayes

 

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