Soul Finger  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Soul Finger" was the first single released by R&B group The Bar-Kays. It was issued on Stax Records on 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". It begins with the melody to the popular children's song "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and then cuts into the main riff, punctuated with a high trumpet vibrato. It features a chorus of neighborhood children who had been loitering outside 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 Hayes and 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. The B-side to the single was "Knucklehead", written by Booker T. Jones and 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.

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. Spies Like Us star Dan Aykroyd had previously covered "Soul Finger" with John Belushi and their band, The Blues Brothers, on their album, Made in America. It also appears in the 2007 film Superbad.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Soul Finger" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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