Barack Obama is the latest presidential contender to feel the wrath of a crooner — Sam Moore of the legendary R&B duo Sam & Dave, who recently demanded the campaign stop playing their “Hold On, I’m Comin’ ” at rallies, where some fans sang it as “Hold On, Obama’s Coming.”
The problem? The singer’s wife, Joyce, told us they feared it would look like Moore had endorsed Obama, which he has not. But Sam Moore himself also cited artistic qualms.
“When the song was first recorded by Dave and myself, it was pulled off the market because it had such sexual orientations,” he said yesterday. (Sample lyrics: Reach out to me for satisfaction / Call my name now for quick reaction.) “I don’t want to get graphic with this, but how do you take a song about getting girls and turn it into a political thing? Somebody’s really desperate!”
In recent weeks, John McCain stopped playing John Mellencamp tunes after the singer’s rep protested their politics are incompatible; and Mike Huckabee pulled the plug on Boston’s”More Than a Feeling” after a complaint from the songwriter, an Obama guy.
Moore has reason to be wary: When he let Bob Dole tweak his classic “Soul Man” in ‘96 (”Dole Man”), the songwriters cried foul. And if a song gets too closely linked to a campaign, it hurts its potential for getting licensed elsewhere.
A rep for the Obama camp told reporters over the weekend they would stop playing “Hold On.”
Interesting because at one time, Sam Moore was close to the late Republican Party chairman and Bush 41 strategist Lee Atwater.
For the Bush Inaugural Ball in 1989 Atwater set up a concert that featured Moore. Moore told this to Congress in 1998:
“Later in my career, I had the personal honor to participate in the George Bush’s inaugural celebration for Young Americans,” which my wife produced in association with Lee Atwater.”
Moore also played on Atwater’s album “Red, Hot and Blue.”
Here they are together.
Wonder if Obama will earn a similar photo.
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