Sam Cooke

~ Person

Legal name: Samuel Cook


Samuel "Sam" Cooke (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964) was an American recording artist and singer-songwriter, generally considered among the greatest of all time.

Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown. AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was "the inventor of soul music", and possessed "an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed."

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously. Major hits like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Cupid", "Chain Gang", "Wonderful World", and "Twistin' the Night Away" 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 Civil Rights Movement.

On December 11, 1964, at the age of 33, Cooke was fatally shot by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. After an inquest, the courts ruled Cooke's death to be a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been called into question by Cooke's family and his wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1957 Songs by Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 2
1958 Encore Sam Cooke 1
1959 Tribute to the Lady Sam Cooke 3
1960 Hits of the 50’s Sam Cooke 1
1960 Cooke’s Tour Sam Cooke 1
1960 I Thank God Sam CookeThe Gospel HarmonettesThe Original Blind Boys 1
1960 Swing Low Sam Cooke 1
1960 The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 3
1961 My Kind of Blues Sam Cooke 1
1961 Sam’s Songs Sam Cooke 1
1962 Twistin’ the Night Away Sam Cooke 2
1963 3 Great Guys Paul Anka / Sam Cooke / Neil Sedaka 1 2
1963 Mr. Soul Sam Cooke 1
1963 Night Beat Sam “Mr. Soul” Cooke 4
1964 Ain’t That Good News Sam Cooke 4
1965 Shake Sam Cooke 1
2012 The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke / My Kind of Blues Sam Cooke 1
2014 Encore / Songs by Sam Cooke (debut album) Sam Cooke 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1959 Hit Kit Sam Cooke 1
1965 Try a Little Love Sam Cooke 1
1970 The Two Sides of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 2
1977 Gospel in My Soul (Heaven Is My Home) Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers 3
1986 The Man and His Music Sam Cooke 3 2
1986 Wonderful World (The Best of Sam Cooke) Sam Cooke 1
1987 Wonderful World Sam Cooke 3
1987 You Send Me Sam Cooke 2
1988 Sam Cooke 20 Great Hits Sam Cooke 1
1988 The Best of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 2
1988 The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 1
1989 In the Beginning Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers 1
1989 A Portrait of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 1
1992 Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers Sam Cooke with The Soul Stirrers 1
1992 20 Greatest Hits Sam Cooke 1
1993 The Legend of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 1
1994 Sam Cooke’s SAR Records Story 1959–1965 Sam Cooke 1
1995 The Rhythm and the Blues Sam Cooke 1
1998 Greatest Hits Sam Cooke 2
2000 Hits! Sam Cooke 1
2000 The Man Who Invented Soul Sam Cooke 1
2001 Keep Movin’ On Sam Cooke 1
2002 The Complete Specialty Recordings Sam Cooke with The Soul Stirrers 1
2003 Portrait of a Legend 1951–1964 Sam Cooke 5
2006 Specialty Profiles Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers 1
2007 Touch the Hem of His Garment: 23 Gospel Gems Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers 1
2008 You Send Me Sam Cooke 1
2008 Around the World Sam Cooke 1
2008 Forever Sam Cooke 1
2009 Classic Album & Singles Collection Sam Cooke 1
2010 The Keen Records Story Sam Cooke 1
2010 Playlist: The Very Best of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 1

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