Eddie Lee Floyd, better known by his stage name Eddie Floyd, was a popular R&B singer in the 1960s. Floyd was born on June 25, 1937, in Montgomery, Alabama, to steelworker Prince Edward Floyd and nurse Florence Floyd. Joe, Benny, and Dave were his three brothers, and Louise was his sister. Floyd has a son named Anthony Floyd and a daughter named Nicole Floyd.
Floyd attended Tankersley Elementary School in Montgomery County, Alabama. However, when Floyd was 13, he was sent to the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children at Mt Meigs after a disagreement with the principal. He began formal music studies there and sang in the choir at Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery on Sundays. Floyd moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1953 to live with his Uncle Robert and Aunt Catherine West, who owned Lupine Records.
Floyd founded the R&B group The Falcons in 1955 and stayed with the integrated quartet (two blacks and two whites) until 1963. Floyd later moved to Washington, D.C., and co-founded the label Safice with Al Bell.
Floyd joined Memphis-based Stax Records shortly after Al Bell became President in 1965. He agreed to work as a composer and lyricist. Soon after, he co-wrote a hit song, “Comfort Me,” with Steve Cropper, which Carla Thomas recorded. Floyd collaborated with Cropper to write his first single, “634-5789 (Soulsville, USA),” which peaked at number one on the R&B chart and stayed there for 16 weeks. The following year (1965), he wrote and released “Stop! Look What You’re Doing,” as well as co-writing “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do).”
Floyd released his most famous Memphis soul era hit in 1966, when he was 29 years old. “Knock on Wood,” they say. It peaked at number 28 on the R&B charts and stayed there for 17 weeks. Despite never reaching the top of the charts, it sold nearly one million copies.
Floyd’s talents were valued by Stax because he was versatile and consistent. He went on to have several more hits on his own, including “Raise Your Hand,” which peaked at no. 16 and stayed on the charts for 9 weeks, and “I’ve Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do),” which peaked at no. 2 and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks in 1968.
His song “You Don’t Know What You Mean to Me,” performed by Sam & Dave, peaked at number 48 and stayed there for 8 weeks. Floyd’s “Bring It on Home to Me,” a remake of Sam Cooke’s 1962 hit, peaked at number 48 on the R&B chart in 1969. Floyd’s chart visibility had rapidly declined by 1970. That year, he did release “California Girl,” which peaked at number 45. Floyd ceased writing and releasing records when Stax Records went bankrupt in 1975.
Eddie Floyd returned to Stax Records in 2007, producing the CD The Very Best of Eddie Floyd. Eddie Loves You So, his most recent album, was released in 2008.
Floyd was inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2016. He was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame two years later. Floyd’s 1979 recording, “Guess It Wasn’t Meant to Be,” was released by Rock House Records in 2020.