Listen to this track by two-in-one soulmen and Stax/Atlantic “double dynamite” recording giants Sam & Dave (Sam Moore, and Dave Prater, that is). It’s “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me”, as co-written by Eddie Floyd (who is name-checked in this version) and Stax house band Booker T & The MGs guitarist Steve Cropper. The song appears on the duo’s 1968 album I Thank You, their first, and last, LP on the Atlantic label.
After being signed to Atlantic in 1964, it was decided that to keep their gritty, Southern soul sound, they would do well to work with Jim Stewart, founder of Stax records based in Memphis, a label that Atlantic served as a distributor. They would also work with writing team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, who penned most of their hits even after they were once again released on Atlantic.
This song, “You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me”, would be among the last top twenty hits Sam & Dave would enjoy on the last album of their career together that enjoyed top forty chart placement before their first split by the early ’70s. What would cause the well to run dry, after such a fantastic run of singles, including this one, known to be a favourite of the duo themselves?