The 60s Official Site

 

 

The Spotlight Is On Sam Cooke

(January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964)

Click Here to Order Sam Cooke Music

 

"Sam Cooke had one of the most unique original singing styles I have ever heard.  He was my favorite."  SMOKEY ROBINSON

"Sam Cooke is somebody other singers have to measure themselves against, and most of them go back to pumping gas."  KEITH RICHARDS of the Rolling Stones

"Sam Cooke was the only one that really influenced me.  Over a period of two years, that's all I listened to."  Rod Stewart Rolling Stone Magazine, June 8 , 1972.

Sam Cooke  was an American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music.

Cooke had 29 Top 40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1965. Major hits like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come," "Chain Gang", "Wonderful World" and "Bring It on Home to Me" are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He added an "e" onto the end of his name because he thought it added a touch of class. He was one of seven children of Annie Mae and the Reverend Charles Cook, a Baptist minister. The family moved to Chicago in 1933.

His first pop single, "Lovable" (1956), was released under the alias of "Dale Cooke" in order to not alienate his gospel fan base; there was a considerable taboo against gospel singers performing secular music. However, the alias failed to hide Cooke's unique and distinctive vocals. No one was fooled. Art Rupe, head of Specialty Records, the label of the Soul Stirrers, gave his blessing for Cooke to record secular music under his real name, but he was unhappy about the type of music Cooke and producer Bumps Blackwell were making. Rupe expected Cooke's secular music to be similar to that of another Specialty Records artist, Little Richard. When Rupe walked in on a recording session and heard Cooke covering Gershwin, he was quite upset. After an argument between Rupe and Blackwell, Cooke and Blackwell left the label.

In 1957, Cooke signed with Keen Records. His first release was "You Send Me " which spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. The song also had massive mainstream success, spending three weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

In 1961, Cooke started his own record label, SAR Records, with J.W. Alexander and his manager, Roy Crain. The label soon included The Simms Twins, The Valentinos, Bobby Womack, and Johnnie Taylor. Cooke then created a publishing imprint and management firm, then left Keen to sign with RCA Victor. One of his first RCA singles was the hit "Chain Gang." It reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart. This was followed by more hits, including "Sad Mood", "Bring it on Home to Me" (with Lou Rawls on backing vocals), "Another Saturday Night" and "Twistin' the Night Away".

 

Like most R&B artists of his time, Cooke focused on singles; in all he had 29 top 40 hits on the pop charts, and more on the R&B charts. In spite of this, he released a well received blues-inflected LP in 1963, Night Beat, and his most critically-acclaimed studio album Ain't That Good News, which featured five singles, in 1964.

Cooke died at the age of 33 on December 11, 1964 at the Hacienda Motel at 9137 South Figueroa in Los Angeles, California, which has since been torn down. He was shot to death by Bertha Franklin, manager of the motel who claimed that he had threatened her, and that she killed him in self-defense. The shooting was ultimately ruled to be a justifiable homicide, though there have been arguments that crucial details did not come out in court, or were buried afterward. Cooke was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Daily Oldies Fix

CQHams

An Enlightening Quiche, a novel by Eva Pasco

 

Hullabaloo! Dave Hull

 

My Summer on Haight Street by Robert Rice Jr.

 

Inside Songs of the Sixties by Brian Forsythe 

Culinary Tributeto the Beatles 

 

The 60s - Carl - 1968 - Vietnam

 Vietnam -1968

The 60s - Webmaster - 2006

 Today

 

HollywoodMegaStore.com

Altamont AugieEva Pasco's Book

 

Somewhere in the Distance by David Soulsby 

The Isla Vista Crucible

 

Read my Blog

 Franchise Trees

40th Anniversary of Woodstock

Vibration of a Nation Video 

Sign the Guestbook 

 

Jukeboxes

Go to The 60s Official Site Jukebox

 

 

 

 

 

Home
Updates and New Content
My Home Town - Circleville Ohio
Cruisin'
My Jade East Adventure
The 60s Tradition of Eating Together as a Family
The Blown Perfect Game
The Great Pumpkin Caper
The Haunted Bridge Near Yellowbud
Union Street Beat
Union Street Peeping Toms
What Ever Happened to The Cool Jocks?
Top Ten Countdown
The Sixties With Eva Pasco
David Soulsby Reflections
Ask Big Dog
Things You Just Don't Hear Anymore
1960s Candy
60s Articles - Baby Boomers
60s Fads & Fashions
60s Music A Decade of Great Music
60s Songs That Peaked on the Charts in 1970
Grammy Award Winners
Our Music, Our Times, Remember When?
The 60s Craziest Songs
The Top 100 Recording Artists of the 50s and 60s Era
Webmaster's Pick of the Top 100 Songs of the Decade
60s Rock 'N Roll Headline News
A Story of Life - A Thousand Marbles
60s Slang- Do You Remember These?
A Tribute to Elvis
Elvis Presley's Top Recordings
Stories About Elvis Presley
Baby Boomer Cities
British Music Invasion
British Top Hits of the 1960s
Chickenman
Chickenman Has Been Identified
Class Reunion Tips
Dance Crazes of the 60s
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech"
Drive-In Theater Memories
Flashback Time Capsule High School Years
Great TV Commercial Jingles
Living in Black and White
Moms Cookbook
Movies of the 60s
Quotes of the Baby Boomer Generation
Remembering Valentine's Day
Previous Spotlighted Artists
Vikki Carr
Bob Dylan
Lovin' Spoonful
Rhythm and Blues Music of the 1960s
Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame
Route 66 - The Mother Road
Summer of Love
Television in the 60s
The Economy and Prices
The Headlines and Key Facts of the 1960s
The Pickle Jar
The Top Ten Songs on this Day
The Vietnam War - The War that Changed a Generation
Medal of Honor Soldiers
Music Favorites from 'Nam
My Tour Pics of Vietnam
Pictures From The Vietnam War
Tet Offensive - An Explanation
Vietnam War Myths
Vietnam War Time Line
Today in Baby Boomer History
Top DJs of the 60s
Toys and Games
Whatever Happened to
Woodstock Rock Festival

 Your Daily Oldies Fix

CQHams

 My Blog

 

Go to The 60s Official Site Jukebox

Sign the Guestbook