Former President Donald Trump has a long history of using music at his rallies against the wishes of the artists, and that continued with his speech at controversial National Rifle Association rally in Houston last weekend, which took place just three days and less than 300 miles from the site of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two adults were murdered, evoking yet more “thoughts and prayers” and opposition to gun control from the Republican party.
Trump capped his speech with Sam and Dave’s 1966 hit “Hold On, I’m Coming,” written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, which took on an even more tasteless meaning when one considers the phone calls from children in the school while police waited outside for more than half an hour before entering.
A rep for Hayes’ estate said in a statement to Variety, “The estate and family of Isaac Hayes DID NOT approve and would NEVER approve the use of “Hold on I’m coming’” by Sam and Dave by Donald Trump at this weekend’s National Rifle Association convention.Our condolences go out to the victims and families of #Uvalde and mass shooting victims everywhere.”
Porter tweeted, “Hell to the NO! I did not and would NOT approve” of Trump using the song “for any of his purposes! I also know Isaac’s estate wouldn’t approve as well!”
Someone shared with me Donald Trump used the song “Hold On I’m Coming” for a speaking appearance of his. Hell to the No! I did Not and would NOT approve of them using the song for any of his purposes! I also know Isaac’s estate wouldn’t approve as well! #Memphis #Music #Grammy
— David Porter (@davidportersoul) May 29, 2022
Trump cynically announced the names of the victims at the rally — mispronouncing several — and then went on to criticize gun control and concluded his speech by dancing to the song.
Over the years he has received many angry requests from musicians who do not want to be associated with him, asking him to stop using his songs at his rallies. Those musicians have included the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Tom Petty and, perhaps most pointedly of all, John Fogerty, whose song “Fortunate Son” criticized young men of privilege who managed to avoid the draft during the 1960s. Trump famously avoided serving in Vietnam for reasons that remain unclear.
It was not the only controversy surrounding music at the rally: A planned concert featuring Don McLean, Lee Greenwood and others was cancelled after every artist but one pulled out.