Sam Cooke / Jan 22, 1931 - Nov 11, 1964

There would be no soul music without Sam Cooke's sweet gospel-reared voice and his many impactful hits, such as "You Send Me", "Another Saturday Night", "Chain Gang", "Twistin' The Night Away", "Shake" (all composed by Cooke himself) and many others. Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi and grown up in Chicago, Sam was a member of the great gospel group The Soul Stirrers before transitioning to pop music (at first under an alias). He was a pioneer everythingman of black artists, as he founded his own record label and took care of his own business, which included production, composing, artist management, musical arrangement and publishing. This self-determination helped make him a civil rights icon, as well as tunes like "A Change Is Gonna Come". Like many great artists who died suspiciously, conspiracy theories abound.

Tagged: Celebrate Icons, Sam Cooke, soul!

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