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On this episode of Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters, co-hosts Scott B. Bomar and Paul Duncan chat about how they’re continuing to adapt their Songcraft recording sessions for the world of COVID-19. They also get into a discussion about whether they’d take a time machine to Abbey Road Studios in London, Stax Studios in Memphis, Motown in Detroit, or FAME in Muscle Shoals, Alabama before their in-depth interview with the legendary David Porter.
Named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time,” David Porter is best known for his songwriting partnership with Isaac Hayes that helped define the sound of Memphis’s legendary Stax Records. As the first African American staff songwriter at Stax, Porter, along with his partner, wrote and produced songs such as “B-A-B-Y” for Carla Thomas, “Your Good Thing (Is About to End)” — an R&B hit for Mable John that later became a pop and R&B smash for Lou Rawls, and his own recording of “Can’t See You When I Want To.”
Hayes and Porter are best known, however, for their work with Sam & Dave, including such classic hits as “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” “You Got Me Hummin’,” “Hold On! I’m Comin’” (which later became a country hit for Waylon Jennings and Jerry Reed), “Soul Man” (which became a hit a second time thanks to the Blues Brothers), “I Thank You” (which was later covered by ZZ Top), and “When Something is Wrong with My Baby” (which was reimagined as a memorable duet between Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, a country hit for Sonny James, and an adult contemporary hit for Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville). His songs have been covered and sampled by too many artists to count. And as a highly celebrated giant among celebrated songwriters, Porter was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.
Listen to some of Porter’s classics below, and tune in to this bi-weekly podcast, Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters, for more music industry interviews.