guilty pleasure monday: hold on (i’m comin’)

it’s august, which around these parts is hotter than july. in honor of the heat, i’m making a leetle leitmotif for this month’s picks: my favorite guilty pleasures — in soul!

kicking off this month’s faves is sam and dave’s hold on (i’m comin’) written by none other than chef isaac hayes.

sam and dave were part of the stax roster of the 1960s/early 70s, a dream team of memphis soul artists backed by musicians like steve cropper and duck dunn. admittedly, i didn’t know any of this stuff until the blues brothers came out. that was when i had my first taste of a musical genre i adore. then, about 12 years ago, a colleague of mine lent me a HUGE box set of stax. (note to BS: a box i am still looking to obtain.)

and i was smitten.

now, i love my share of motown, but where motown records of that era sounded more sanitized and pop-py, the stuff stax put out was earthy and funky. kind of like the beatles versus the stones: i like them both, but for very different reasons. and people love soul man, i thank you, and wrap it up — lord knows they’ve been covered a bunch of times.

but my favorite sam & dave song is still hold on (i’m comin’) — which was sanitized by the record company to hold on (i’m a-comin) because someone somewhere was afraid of the sexual connotation. they didn’t have worried — it was what dave porter, the co-author of the tune, told isaac hayes when hayes wanted to write this song and porter, evidentally, was taking too much time in the toilet. (you just never know what will inspire an artist.) somehow, i guess they thought it was better to sound like a shuffling racist caricature than it was to sound like a sex machine. oh well.

i just love the message of the song — that the singer’s love is reliable and unwavering, even in times of trouble. it’s what i always teach my children when i tell them i love you no matter what. yes, they may grow up to be white collar criminals or axe murderers, but they will still be my babies. and i don’t want them to be sad and lonely.

see, i will bake them that cake with the file in it. no matter what.

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