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"Soul Man" is a 1967 song written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, first successful as a hit single by Atlantic Records soul duo Sam & Dave.

 Co-author Isaac Hayes found the inspiration for "Soul Man" in the turmoil of the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In July 1967, the 12th Street Riot in Detroit, Michigan occurred. Watching a television newscast of the aftermath of the riots, Hayes noted that black Detroit residents had marked the buildings that had not been destroyed during the riots - most African-American owned and operated institutions - with the word "soul".[1] Relating this occurrence to the biblical story of the Passover,[2] Hayes and songwriting partner David Porter came up with the idea, in Hayes' words, of "a story about one's struggle to rise above his present conditions. It's almost a tune [where it's] kind of like boasting 'I'm a soul man'. It's a pride thing." [1]

Issued on the Atlantic-distributed Stax label for which Hayes and Porter worked, Sam and Dave's "Soul Man" was the most successful Stax single to date upon its release.[1] The single peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart, and at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States during the autumn of 1967.[3]."Soul Man" was awarded the 1968 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance, Vocal or Instrumental.[1]

The exclamation "Play it, Steve" heard in the song refers to guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, the house band who provided the instrumentation for this and many other Sam and Dave singles; Cropper provides guitar for both the original Sam and Dave recording, as well as the live and studio covers by the Blues Brothers.

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Label:  Stax
Release Date:  September 9, 1967
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