Knock On Wood – Eddie Floyd | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#28) & R&B (#1); 1996

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

When Eddie Floyd joined Stax Records, he was reunited with his one-time Falcons singing partner, Wilson Pickett, for whom he promptly wrote (with MG’s guitarist Steve Cropper) the R&B #1 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.) and the #13 Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do).

While 634-5789 was upward bound, Floyd’s debut disc as a Stax artist – Things Get Better – appeared. Unfortunately, things didn’t get better for Floyd’s new 45. Floyd and Cropper continued to work together, coming up with another possibility during one of their regular writing sessions at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

This one was called Knock On Wood. The finished master was truly a (Stax) family affair. Isaac Hayes brainstormed the horn riff in the bridge, David Porter (of Sam & Dave) contributed a backing vocal, and MG’s drummer Al Jackson “knocked” on his drum kit.

It also featured a hallmark of the Stax sound, heard first on In The Midnight Hour: a delayed backbeat based on the rhythm of a dance called The Jerk..

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:

  • Jim Stewart

Lyrics Written by:

  • Eddie Floyd
  • Steve Cropper