While songwriter/producer David Porter was in the toilet, his songwriting partner Isaac Hayes (later a solo star with "Theme From Shaft") yelled at him to hurry up so they could get back to work, as he was frustrated by the lack of progress they had made that day. Porter responded, "Hold on man, I'm coming." The immediately inspired Porter quickly finished his business and excitedly told Hayes that "Hold On, I'm Coming" would be a great title for a song. Hayes has repeated this story in various interviews, including one with Reuters in 2005.
With a frothy delivery by Sam & Dave and a title that is something often heard in the bedroom, this song was deemed too prurient to air by many radio stations, and it stalled at #21 in the US. The lyrics are actually quite innocent, with the duo offering emotional support to help the lady through some tough times - what could be wrong with that?
On the album and on subsequent compilations, this song is listed as "Hold On, I'm Comin'." On the single release, it was titled "Hold On! I'm A Comin'" in an effort to make it sound less lascivious.
Sam & Dave recorded for Stax Records, which was a popular soul music label in the '60s and early '70s. Isaac Hayes was also on the label, which created a very loose and comfortable atmosphere for their artists - at least until they had a financial meltdown in the mid-'70s. While Motown worked hard on the visual styles and choreography of their artists, Stax left most of that up to the singers, which meant that most of them just came out and sang. Sam & Dave were the exception, doing lots of crazy dancing and improvisation in their stage shows, which was always on display when they performed this song.
This song was featured in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. It plays from a cassette in Jake and Elwood's car during the first police car chase. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd modeled their act on Sam & Dave.
Suggestion credit: Taal - Australia
Aretha Franklin covered this for her 1981 album, Love All The Hurt Away and earned a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance - her first Grammy win since her 1974 rendition of "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" won in the same category.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 17th 1966, "Hold On! I'm Comin'" by Sam and Dave entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #95; and on June 12th it peaked at #21 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100... And on the same day it peaked at #21 on the Top 100, it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart... Between 1965 and 1974 the duo had fourteen Top 100 hits on the R&B chart; with seven making the Top 10 and two reaching #1 (their other #1 record was "Soul Man" in 1967)... R.I.P. Dave Prater (1937 - 1988) and Sam Moore, born Samuel David Hicks, will celebrate his 79th birthday this coming October 12th.
Arthur from Methuen, MaMaybe I'm strange, but I always thought this song had a underlying sexual meaning. I surly can't be the only one. Also, given the censorship of the 60's I can't believe they let this be played on the radio. They always made something out of nothing. (Rolling Stones: Let's spend the night together, band from some airwaves) and my favorite, Van Morrison's Brown eyed girl. (Made him change the lyrics, "Makin love in the green grass".
Camille from Toronto, OhThis song has an extremely recognizable instrumental intro with the saxophones. I prefer the recorded version over this live video version posted here on Songfacts. The recorded version seems more deliberate, more insistent, sexier. Great tune.
Todd from Occoquan, VaThis writing comes on the death of Mr. Isaac Hayes a few days ago (Sunday, Aug. 10th, 2008), as my job has transferred me to Memphis, TN, and I've seen him and the genuinely kind person that he was, and what he meant to Memphis. This is for a man who changed the face of our music for the better.
I run 10K races and do triathlons. Though these lyrics were written as a man laying himself all out in a solemn pledge to be there for a woman - to be her rescuer, no matter what, nor how dire her situation - the majority of these lyrics could just as well ennunciate God's Pledge to be there for us! This is why it is my favorite inspirational song on my walkman, as I bike my 25 miles, dismount and then run 6 miles. The horns are swinging and Cropper's guitar is on point!
"Dont you ever be sad. Lean on me, when times get bad. When the day comes, and I know you been around,in a river of trouble, you're about to drown - Hold on! I'm coming! Hold on cause I'm coming!" - God to the rescue! Thank You, Mr. Hayes!
Musicmama from New York, NcThis song is indeed underrated, and one of my favorites.
I used it for the outgoing message on my first telephone answering machine.
Harris from Bedford, VaThis song is very personal. It relates to my sorrow and past and perhaps thousand of other Vietnam Vets. In 1966 at Fort Jackson thousands of us played it continuously in the beer gardens on week-ends. When I visit The Wall in D.C. annually, I hear it in my head while looking at the names of my comrades. Love this song!
Dave from Oak Park, MiIt plays from an 8-TRACK, actually--on an After-Market player in Jake & Elwood's car on THE BLUES BROTHERS... Forgot which song on the same tape plays before it...
Stella from Ham Lake, MnSam and Dave were the inspiration for The Blues Brothers.
Kyle from Vancouver, CanadaDefinitely, an underrated song. The horns really make it during the chorus.
Jef from Warren, Migreat tune. one of the most underrated songs of all time.