Sam Cooke

~ Person

Legal name: Samuel Cook


Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.

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, and 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", "Another Saturday Night", 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 shot and killed 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.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1961 Just for You 1
1961 That’s It—I Quit—I’m Movin’ On 1
1962 Bring It On Home to Me / Having a Party 1
1962 Nothing Can Change This Love 1
1962 Twistin’ the Night Away 2
1963 Another Saturday Night 1
1963 Frankie and Johnny 2
1963 Send Me Some Lovin’ 1
1964 Good Times 1
1964 Cousin of Mine 1
1965 When a Boy Falls in Love 2
1967 Sad Mood 1

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