Eddie Floyd … and me
I am happy to announce that I am co-writing the autobiography/memoir of the great soul singer Eddie Floyd, to be published by BMG in 2018.
Eddie Floyd is best known for the classic “Knock on Wood,” which he co-wrote, but that’s just one peak in a mountainous career that stretches back over six decades. He made his first recordings as a teenager with the Falcons back in 1956, and as anyone who watched the BBC Proms Stax Special from London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 1 can testify (and as seen below alongside Tom Jones and Sam Moore), at 80 years of age he still has the voice – and the moves – of a man half his age.
Eddie’s other major solo soul classics include “Raise Your Hand,” “Big Bird,” “California Girl,” “Bring It On Home To Me,” “Don’t Tell Your Mama,” “Why Is The Wine Sweeter (on the Other Side),” “Love Is A Doggone Good Thing,” “On A Saturday Night,” and the exceptional “I’ve Never Found a Girl (to Love Me Like You Do).” Among the several hundred songs he has written or co-written over the decades, alongside such fellow luminaries as Mack Rice, Steve Cropper, William Bell, Booker T. Jones, Wilson Pickett and Al Bell, are many that were made famous by others: “Stop! Look What You’re Doing” and “Comfort Me” (by Carla Thomas), “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me” (Sam and Dave), “634-5789” and “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do,” (Wilson Pickett), “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” and “Don’t Mess With Cupid” (Otis Redding), “Just The One I’ve Been Looking For” (Johnnie Taylor), and “The Breakdown” (Rufus Thomas). He has sung duets with Mavis Staples and Dorothy Moore, and appeared on many an all-star soul cast. The list of those who have covered his hit compositions runs the gamut from Bruce Springsteen to, famously, Amii Stewart, and would, of itself, fill a book.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1937, Eddie moved in his youth to Detroit, where he formed the Falcons, often hailed as “the World’s First Soul Group,” and where his manager/uncle Robert West served as an inspiration for Berry Gordy; after the Falcons’ demise in the early 1960s he relocated to D.C., where he partnered with Al Bell on the record label Safice, recording under his own name at Bo Diddley’s studio; he moved to Memphis alongside Bell in 1965, signing to Stax, remaining with the legendary soul label until its demise in 1975; he later recorded for Malaco, “the last great soul label,” as well as British mod label I-Spy, Mercury and Contempo. Floyd was part of the Stax Volt Tour of Europe in 1967 (see above) and the WattsStax concert of 1973; he has been a prominent member of the Blues Brothers Band and of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings; he has played for Presidents at the White House and continues to sing for the people all over the world. It’s a thrill to be working with him and to be helping him tell his story.