Eddie Floyd first came to prominence as one of The Falcons, the Detroit-based vocal group, in which he worked with Joe Stubbs, brother of Levi Stubbs, and Wilson Pickett. As a solo artist, he cut sides for both Lupine Records and Safice Records, before settling in Memphis to record for Stax Records in 1965. Paired with Steve Cropper, the two wrote hits such as 634-5789 and Ninety Nine And A Half (Won't Do). Floyd's first solo Stax side was Things Get Better, but its follow-up, at first dismissed by label boss Jim Stewart for being too similar to Wilson Pickett's recent In The Midnight Hour, was Knock On Wood. Loved by Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler who distributed it nationally through Atlantic Records, it topped the US R&B chart and was hugely influential. A key part of the European Hit The Road Stax tour, Floyd found admirers across the world. Floyd continued to write and record, working with Booker T and Al Bell on the classic I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me The Way You Do). The closure of Stax in the mid-70s knocked Floyd off course, and spells at Mercury Records and Malaco Records were greeted with, at best, indifference. The UK mod revival of the late 70s found Floyd working with Secret Affair, while the homage paid to him and his Stax labelmates by The Blues Brothers made him a commercial draw on the live circuit. He has sung intermittently with The Blues Brothers Band since the late 80s and his reputation received another boost with the film, The Commitments in the 90s. He re-established links with the revitalised Stax label in the the 00s, releasing the vibrant Eddie Loves You So in 2008.
Followers: Paul Weller, Mick Hucknall, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Page, Paul Young
Influenced By: Sam Cooke, Ray Charles...