He sang of our lives. His music spoke to the teenagers about school and heartache. His songs reached out and touched our hearts. With Sam Cooke's melodies you always wanted to sing along.
Sam was special in our hearts and then once again the shooting star went out all too soon. I sure get tired of writing that line but it won't be the last time.
Sam Cooke added some needed soul or rhythm and blues to the rock story. He was a welcome addition to the rock scene. Sam was different from the rockabilly white boys and the frantic rock of black artists Little Richard and Chuck Berry. He came from black gospel music.
What he brought was a mix of gospel and blues. He was later called the King of Soul. But first he found a welcome home with the white youth market of rock and roll. Who would have thought the mix of gospel and rock would create what would be called Soul ?
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Sam's songs were not only poignant to the market but they had a certain ring to them were were not accustomed. That of course is what sells records. Something sweet, something new and that was the sound Sam Cooke brought to rock and roll.
We responded with something like 29 hits from 57 to 64. Hey that's a lot of acceptance. So much so it created a new genre and the whole soul train thing began bringing us some of our greatest artists. As stated in the intro to this blog outside influences are welcomed as long as they add a positive layer to rock. Soul music definitely did that. I think the majority of my peers love it to this day. Soul music and especially Sam Cooke was so imbedded in our listening habits that some of my classmates think soul is blues and vice versa.
Rock and roll today would not be complete without the addition of soul by Mister Sam Cooke. Unfortunately for Sam and the music, he was killed under somewhat mysterious circumstances when he was only 33. It was a hush, hush scandal but word got around. We lost a hell of a talent when Sam was murdered. Needless to say I was and still am a big fan.
|Sam Cooke on the Ed Sullivan Show|