The Dance of Reality To Be Released On Blu-ray, DVD and Digitally August 25
POSTED ON Jul 22nd, 2014
The Complete SAR Records Recordings by L.C. Cooke Hits Stores 7/29
POSTED ON Jul 17th, 2014
Bobby Womack - In Memoriam.
POSTED ON Jun 30th, 2014
Sam Cooke's Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 To Be Released On Vinyl For The First Time On June 24
POSTED ON Jun 18th, 2014
Soundtrack For Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Dance Of Reality Available Now!
POSTED ON May 19th, 2014
Chubby Checker to Host "My Music: 50s & 60s Party Songs" on PBS
POSTED ON May 30th, 2014
Beg, Borrow & Steal From The Ohio Express Available Now!
POSTED ON Apr 29th, 2014
Entertainment Weekly Premiere's Exclusive New Clip From Jodorowsky's The Dance Of Reality
POSTED ON May 14th, 2014
ABKCO Rolls Out Three More Clearly Classic Stones Titles May 6: Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!, 12 X 5, Through The Past, Darkly
POSTED ON Mar 25th, 2014
ABKCO Record Store Day Vinyl Releases Include Classic Titles From Sam Cooke and The Animals + Videogame Soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Eric Burdon In-Store Set for Miami
POSTED ON Mar 20th, 2014
ABKCO Films Brings Alejandro Jodorowsky and The Dance of Reality to MoMA on March 14th
POSTED ON Mar 12th, 2014
SXSW Holds US Premiere of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Dance of Reality on March 10
POSTED ON Mar 7th, 2014
Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel Soundtrack In Stores Now
POSTED ON Mar 3rd, 2014
|UDiscover Music Imagines Sam Cooke At 84
Posted on Jan 22nd, 2015
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Earlier this month, a certain birthday gave us the opportunity to imagine what Elvis Presley might have been doing at the age of 80. Today, we can enjoy a similar flight of fancy with another of the true greats, because Sam Cooke would have turned 84. He was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 22, 1931.
Imagining the great vocal stylist as a senior citizen is especially poignant when you remember that he was a mere 33 when he was shot to death in a motel in December, 1964. His passing was insalubrious, but in just a few short years of success, his songs and his unmatched singing technique had already influenced many of the upcoming generation of stars.
Sam’s good looks and innate style made him a real hearththrob, but let’s not forget that he was also one of the first African-American musicians with a true grasp of the music business and how it worked. He would form his own record label and publishing company, almost unheard of for a black artist at the time.
The mind boggles at what he might have gone on achieve, as a figurehead in the Civil Rights movement, as a solo artist and, maybe, in collaboration with some of his peers and admirers. Sam Cooke and, perhaps, Aretha Franklin, who swooned at him as a teenage girl? Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, they would all surely have queued up to work with him. Perhaps even, collectively or individually, the Beatles.
For many, Cooke basically invented soul music, but he could never have brought such inspired interpretation to his songbook if he had not come from a gospel background. His recordings with the Soul Stirrers are stirring indeed, and even if there were those who opposed his supposed “abandoning” of his church roots to sing pop music, the world would have been a much poorer place had Sam not made that progression.
No less a towering presence in music production than the late Jerry Wexler was quoted in Gerri Hirshey’s seminal soul music history ‘Nowhere To Run’ as saying: “Nobody has put more people on stretchers than Sam Cooke, nobody. He’s got to be the best singer that ever lived, bar none. I mean nobody can touch Sam Cooke. When I listen to Sam everything goes away. Modulation, shading, dynamics, progression, emotion, every essential quality — he had it all.”
Cooke was buried on a freezing cold day in Chicago, where 25,000 people turned out to pay their respects. Ray Charles sang, and after Sam’s body was flown back from Los Angeles, his friend, the young Muhammad Ali, was granted a private viewing. Sam Cooke touched millions, and still does.