Today is the 75th birthday of Sam Cooke, one of the sweetest, purest soul voices I know. Born Samuel Cook in 1931, he added the “e” to the end of his last name later in life – he thought it added class. As a Browne-with-an-”e” myself, I have to agree. Classy.
Starting as a gospel singer, he gave the world 33 years of his music before he died in 1964 – the victim of a motel shooting whose details are still disputed. What a loss; think of all the beautiful music he still had inside.
There’s a sweeping new biography about Cooke out now, “Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke” by pop music writer and Elvis chronicler Peter Guralnick. I have heard excellent things about it, and intend (!) to read it this year.
I know I said this before, but Sam Cooke always sounds like slow-dancing barefoot in the kitchen, especially this song. It is absolutely my favorite by him:
“Bring It On Home To Me” – Sam Cooke