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"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sam Cooke

Born on January 22, 1931, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Sam Cooke is commonly referred to as the King of Soul for his distinctive, wide-ranging vocal abilities and his undoubted influence on the modern world of music. Forging a link between soul and pop with a repertoire that attracted both black and white audiences, Cooke’s velvet-smooth voice moved effortlessly from Soul and R&B, to Jazz and Gospel and beyond.
  Following six years with the Soul Stirrers, honing his craft as a Gospel singer, he released his first number one and possibly most seminal hit, “You Send Me” in 1957, that even toppled Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” from the top of the charts. A string of pop and R&B hits soon followed such as "Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha" (1958) and "Only Sixteen" (1959) and, following his move to RCA, he continued to win over fans with 1960’s “Chain Gang”, a social commentary based song whose rhythm supposedly mimicked the sound of prisoners breaking rocks, the ballad “Wonderful World”, 1961’s “Cupid” and the 1962 dance track "Twistin' the Night Away," all sung in his seductive, dulcet style.
  Inspiring a generation of musicians along the way such as Bruce Springsteen, Otis Redding, Al Green and Bobby Womack, both John Lennon (on his 1975 album “Rock ‘n’ Roll) and Van Morrison (on 1974’s “It’s Too Late To Stop Now”) idolised the singer when recording his 1962 hit “Bring It On Home To Me”, a song included in the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll’. James Brown once said of him: “Sam Cooke is the only man I know that stand flat footed and kill you with one song. If I had half the voice that Sam had, I wouldn’t dance.”   Having left behind a tremendous musical legacy, Cooke has endured through his songs. After selling more than 10 million records and being regarded as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, Cooke was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1986.

Featured on

The Evolution of Gospel
Various Artists