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« Another View on Misguided Diplomacy | Main | Time for Straight Talk About Fox News »


Erik Greene

Great points you bring up about the early days of Sam Cooke's career.

It's important to note that when Sam left gospel, his intention was to target a crossover market. So while some of his appearances and performances may have looked strain (Lord knows he sounded like a fish out of water on some of his early pop songs!), it was all calculated.

I questioned Sam's brothers extensively on this period and they both agree that he went through an experimental phase in trying to effect the crossover. My uncle Charles, Sam's oldest brother, said he performed some of his Canadian concerts in a top hat and tails. It was hit and miss at one point, but when Sam relaxed and performed the songs he was comfortable with (mainly the ones he wrote), he came into his own in a big, big way.

Sam's extreme versatility is mind-boggling. Though his recording career spanned only 14 years, excellent performaces have been captured with Sam singing gospel live and in-studio, pop live and in-studio, and the supper club circuit live.

He was truly a great performer whose loss is only deepened when the previously-unknown factors in his death are brought to the forefront.

Erik Greene
Author, “Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective”

Jeff Weintraub

Erik, that's fascinating. I'd love to hear more. I'll check out your site.

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