Song of the Week – Big Bird, Eddie Floyd


One of the great Stax soulmen of the 60s was Eddie Floyd. His most popular song was “Knock on Wood” which hit #1 in the US in 1966. He also had modest chart success with “Raise Your Hand”. That one only reached #79 in the US but was further popularized through cover versions by Janis Joplin and Bruce Springsteen.

Here’s a cool version of Janis singing it with Tom Jones.

Dig the groovy 60s outfits and dance moves.

But today’s SotW is about my favorite Eddie Floyd song – “Big Bird” (1967).

Floyd delivers a passionate vocal and is supported by the famous Stax/Volt rhythm section (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, “Duck” Dunn) and the Memphis horns. Check out Cropper’s blistering guitar riff – it drives the song.

The backstory adds a little poignancy to this otherwise upbeat song. It’s been often repeated that Floyd wrote the song from Heathrow Airport in London while waiting for his flight back to the US for Otis Redding’s funeral. Hearing that his plane needed some maintenance before it would be ready to fly, he had a justifiable concern that it might not get off the ground.

“Big Bird” went virtually unnoticed here in the US but later became a Northern soul favorite in England. UK bands, like The Jam, still do cover versions.

Enjoy… until next week.