There were many reasons I wanted to do Sam Cooke. I didn’t know before I started researching him how outspoken Sam Cooke was on the topic of civil rights and equality. He was one of Mohamed Ali’s closest friends. There are conspiracy theories about his death.
He started his career singing with gospel groups . He decided to start singing R&B and he didn’t look back. His hit songs were You Send Me, Wonderful World, Chain Gang, and Twistin the Night Away. He was able to link soul and pop, his singing, his style, and good looks attracted young black and white audiences. Young mixed audiences was not common in the fifty’s and early sixties.
Aretha Franklin, a good friend of Sam, also started out in gospel. She says Sam Cooke influenced her early style of singing. His ‘You Send Me’ song opened the door for many former gospel singers. He was highly respected in the music industry. He started his own record label, and publishing company. He was destined for super stardom until his untimely death.
He was only thirty three when he died.