Sam Cooke

2000 Words Jan 31st, 2011 8 Pages
Ashley McCullers
MUSI 2040
Vanessa Tome
Sam Cooke and “A Change Is Gonna Come”

In the midst of a time where black Americans were facing extreme ridicule and fighting for their rights, Sam Cooke arose from the Gospel music style and merged into the music known as Soul, a genre that spoke to the socially crumbling nation about peace and civil rights changes. Through his smooth style, velvety voice, handsome appearance, and appeal to black and white audiences alike, Sam Cooke made a difference in the lives of Americans in the 1960s by singing with pure emotion and soul, like in "A Change is Gonna Come." Through this genre’s sincere singing with lyrics full of emotion, a sense of understanding was brought to the people of America about the
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Bobby Womack, a singer who had sang alongside Cooke in some acts said, “He went out there and started singing and people would not believe his voice.” Sam Cooke was a different breed of Gospel singer, and he changed the style, giving it an edge and a more youthful appeal. In 1955, Cooke began cutting secular songs to make it big with Specialty Records, and became a hit instantly with his hits, “I’ll Come Running Back to You,” and “You Send Me” (Gulla, 114). His short career produced many memorable hits and records, and in the midst of it, Cooke served his black community in the struggle over civil rights. In parallel to the movement and in light of his son’s tragic death and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind,” Cooke wrote, “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1963 (“Song Facts”). Cooke suddenly died in 1964, right before the release of the song, and black America plunged into despair because he had been a ray of light, a symbol of hope, and an emblem of equality and racial balance (Gulla, 109). He had been an icon for both blacks and whites alike. In spite of his shorted career, “A Change Is Gonna Come” affected America with is raw lyrics and unprecedented emotion Cooke displays in his song. “A Change Is Gonna Come” was released eleven days after Cooke’s death as a final farewell to his audiences that loved him. The song expresses the soul of the freedom movement as

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