I Thank You – Sam & Dave | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#9) and R&B (#4); 1968

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

With the stunning success of Soul Man, Sam & Dave were suddenly hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July, and writers Hayes and Porter had another blockbuster ready as a follow-up.

Sam Moore’s rousing gospel-style intro set I Thank You in motion, then drummer Al Jackson Jr. kicked in with a pattern inspired by Dave’s insistence that the he re-create the sound of horses.

Isaac Hayes played a clavinet (the first time on a Stax recording) while Ollie & The Nightingales provided backing vocals (another first for a Sam & Dave track). Released on January 8, 1968, I Thank You and Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay debuted the same week on the Hot 100.

The week Dock reached the top, I Thank You moved up to #10; marking Sam & Dave’s second straight crossover single. It was to be the duo’s high point. Front office changes meant the Memphis team no longer worked on Sam & Dave records, and the hits stopped coming.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Isaac Hayes
  • David Porter

Lyrics Written by:

  • Isaac Hayes
  • David Porter