Sam Cooke

2293 WordsJun 20, 200610 Pages
Sam Cooke was one of the most important soul singers in history -- he was the inventor of soul music. Cooke was one of the most popular performers in both the black and white communities. He was also among the first modern black performers and composers to venture into the business side of the music business, when he founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as an addition to being a singer and composer. Like many artist before him Cooke tackled issues including the struggle over civil rights. Some may even say the intensity of which followed an arc that paralleled Cooke's emergence as a star -- his own career bridged gaps between black and white audiences that few had tried to surmount, much less…show more content…
Cooke's RCA sides were an amazing body of work, at least for the first two years. He broke new ground in pop and soul with the single "Chain Gang," a strange mix of sweet melodies and gritty, sweaty sensibilities that also introduced something of a social conscience to his work -- a number two hit on both the pop and R&B charts, it was his biggest hit since "You Send Me" and heralded a bolder phase in his career. Singles like bluesy, romantic "Sad Mood," the romantic soul of "Cupid," and the straight-ahead dance tune "Twistin' the Night Away", and "Bring It on Home to Me" all lived up to this promise, and also sold in huge numbers. But the first two albums that RCA had him do, Hits of the Fifties and Cooke's Tour, were among the lamest LPs ever recorded by any soul or R&B singer, comprised of washed-out pop tunes in arrangements that showed almost none of Cooke's gifts to their advantage. In 1962, Cooke issued Twistin' the Night Away, a somewhat belated "twist" album that became one of his biggest-selling LPs. He didn't really hit his stride as an LP artist; however, until 1963 with the release of Night Beat, a moody assembly of blues-oriented songs that were among the best and most challenging numbers that Cooke had recorded up to that time. By the time of its release, he was mostly identified through his singles, which were among the
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