Sam Cooke

~ Person

Legal name: Samuel Cook


Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), professionally known as Sam Cooke, was an American recording artist, singer-songwriter and entrepreneur 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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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2008 You Send Me (3xCD) 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 The Very Best of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 3
2011 The Best of Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 1
2011 The Complete Remastered Keen Collection Sam Cooke 1
2011 The RCA Albums Collection Sam Cooke 1
2011 Wonderful World: The Very Best of Sam Cooke 1957–60 Sam Cooke 1
2012 The Platinum Collection Sam Cooke 1
2012 The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection Sam Cooke 1
2013 The Complete Singles (1956–1962) Sam Cooke 1
2013 The Singles Collection Sam Cooke 1
2013 8 Classic Albums Plus Bonus Singles Sam Cooke 1
2014 Original Album Classics Sam Cooke 1
Cuts Sam Cooke 1
Greatest Sam Cooke 1
The Best Of Sam Cooke 1
Unforgettable Memories Sam Cooke 1
Wonderful World Sam Cooke 1
You Send Me Sam Cooke 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1964 Sam Cooke at the Copa Sam Cooke 4
1985 Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 Sam Cooke 4


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1957 Lovable Dale Cook 1
1957 Summertime / You Send Me Sam Cooke 1
1957 I’ll Come Running Back to You Sam Cooke with René Hall’s Orchestra 1
1957 For Sentimental Reasons Sam Cooke 1
1958 Stealing Kisses Sam Cooke 1
1958 Blue Moon / Love You Most of All Sam Cooke (Bumps Blackwell & His Orchestra) 1
1958 That’s All I Need to Know Sam Cooke 1
1958 Win Your Love for Me Sam Cooke 1
1958 You Were Made for Me Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell Orchestra 1
1959 Only Sixteen Sam Cooke 1
1959 Summertime, Part 1 Sam Cooke 1
1959 Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha Sam Cooke 1
1959 Happy in Love Sam Cooke 1
1959 No One (Can Ever Take Your Place) / ’T Ain’t Nobody’s Business (If I Do) Sam Cooke 1
1959 There, I’ve Said It Again Sam Cooke with Don Ralke’s Orchestra 1
1960 Wonderful World Sam Cooke 1
1960 With You Sam Cooke 3
1960 So Glamorous Sam Cooke 1
1960 Chain Gang Sam Cooke 2
1960 Mary, Mary Lou Sam Cooke 1
1960 Sad Mood Sam Cooke 1
1960 Teenage Sonata Sam Cooke 1
1960 You Understand Me Sam Cooke 1
1961 Cupid Sam Cooke 1
1961 Feel It Sam Cooke 1
1961 Just for You Sam Cooke 1

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