Name = Soul Finger
B-side = "Knucklehead"
alt Artist =
Released = April 14, 1967
Recorded = 1967
Length = 2:18
Writer = Jimmy King
Chart position = US #17 (1967), US R&B #3 (1967)
"Soul Finger" was the first single released by
R&Bgroup The Bar-Kays. It was issued on Stax Recordson April 14, 1967.
The song was written by the Bar-Kays while they were rehearsing with
Norman West, doing a cover of J.J. Jackson's "But It's Alright".Liner notes to "The Complete Stax/Volt Singles, 1959-1968". Atlantic, 1991, p. 31.] It begins with the melodyto the popular children's song " Mary Had a Little Lamb", and then cuts into the main riff, punctuated with a high trumpetvibrato. It features a chorus of neighborhood children who had been loiteringoutside the recording studio; they were instructed to shout the words "Soul Finger!" and were paid with Coca-Colas. The idea for the title and the shouts had come from Stax songwriters Isaac Hayesand David Porter.
"Soul Finger" was a hit in the
United States, and peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Black Singles chart and #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wcfuxqe5ld6e~T51 Billboard Singles] , Allmusic] The B-sideto the single was "Knucklehead", written by Booker T. Jonesand Steve Cropper. "Knucklehead" charted at #28 on the Black Singles chart and #76 on the Hot 100. "Soul Finger" and "Knucklehead" were the first two tracks of the Bar-Kays' first LP, "Soul Finger". [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:hifoxql5ldje Review of "Soul Finger"] , Allmusic]
The song was featured prominently in a scene from the 1985 film "
Spies Like Us" during a scene in which Soviet missile control personnel hold a party. It also appears in the 2007 film " Superbad".
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