Mr. Soul Sam Cooke
Artist: Sam Cooke
Composer: Charles Trenet, Best, Watson, Sam Cooke, H. Marvell, J. Strachay, H. Link, M. Hyde, F. Henry, Albert Askew Beach, Ann Ronell, Errol Brown, Norre, Price, Arthur Hamilton, Marascalco, Cahn, Van Heusen, Ned Washington, H.E. Gifford, A. Nugetre, Harry Van Wal
Album including Album cover
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- 1I Wish You Love02:22
- 2Willow Weep for Me02:27
- 3Chains of Love02:46
- 4Smoke Rings03:23
- 5All the Way03:27
- 6Send Me Some Lovin'02:46
- 7Cry Me a River02:46
- 8Driftin' Blues03:15
- 9For Sentimental Reasons03:12
- 10Nothing Can Change This Love02:36
- 11Little Girl02:34
- 12These Foolish Things03:58
Info for Mr. Soul
Sam Cooke, inventor and true King of Soul, recorded 'Mr. Soul' in the same year as 'Night Beat', and seems to be its more adult counterpart, with soulful ballads taking up most of the album. A laidback tempo and rich arrangements lay the foundation over which Sam's somewhat melancholy voice floats, creating an uplifting spirit that can mend anyone's broken heart. With standards such as 'Willow Weep For Me', 'I Wish You Love', and 'For Sentimental Reasons', Cooke shows a quiet emotive side of himself without losing his keen sense of melody, using the strength of his voice without overpowering the listener.
Sam Cooke's father once told him, 'It isn't what you sing that is so important, but rather the fact that God gave you a good voice to use. He must want you to make people happy by singing, so go ahead and do so.'
With these words of encouragement, he did just that.
„Sam Cooke released two albums in 1963, and the second, Night Beat, is often cited as the best of all his long-players. But the first, Mr. Soul, shouldn't be ignored, despite some flaws in its conception and execution. At the time, the powers-that-were at RCA Victor didn't know which audience to aim for with Cooke's albums. LPs were seldom huge sellers among teenage listeners, so the notion of trying to connect to an adult audience -- à la Nat King Cole -- probably seemed logical, and Mr. Soul suffered somewhat from this uncertainty of purpose and audience; it is a soul album, to be sure, but by the standards of the time a somewhat tentative one in many spots. Unlike Night Beat, which was an exercise in production restraint, Mr. Soul is over-produced and relies too much on strings where they aren't needed and choruses that are overdone, even when they work. But Cooke rises above all of it, and turns even some of the more questionably arranged songs, such as 'Send Me Some Lovin',' into mini-masterpieces. A couple of tracks off of this album, '(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons' and 'Nothing Can Change This Love,' were part of Cooke's live repertoire at the time and have, indeed, found a separate life on various compilations, but the rest was unavailable for over 45 years, until Sony/BMG re-released most of Cooke's RCA library. The best of that rest -- which is most of it -- shows him still rising to the peak of his powers, his voice wrapping itself around lyrics and melodies that might seem too familiar ('Cry Me a River,' etc.) and bland, and making them much more significant and powerful than they seemingly have a right to be. The strings are overworked at times, but where they are held back, as on 'Little Girl,' their presence only adds to the impact of the track -- and elsewhere, Cooke quietly overpowers them. Modern listeners should bear in mind that, as a soul album, this is a fairly laid-back record -- those expecting anything like the exuberance of Otis Redding, or Clyde McPhatter or Ben E. King, may be disappointed at first; Cooke does work up a sweat on various parts and phrases, but a lot of what is here, by virtue of the label's wishes for a crossover record, is what might be terms 'cool' soul -- smooth and sometimes bluesy, in a low-key way, quietly emotive on numbers such as 'These Foolish Things,' with the hot moments in special abundance on numbers like 'Chains of Love' and 'Send Me Some Lovin'.' But even in these cool, restrained settings, Cooke's was still one of the finest voices of his century, and worth taking in for every breath and nuance.“ (Bruce Eder, AMG)
Sam Cooke, vocals
Clifton White, guitar
Bill Pitman, guitar
Tommy Tedesco, guitar
Ray Pohlman, bass
Clifford Hils, bass
Red Callender, bass
Earl Palmer, drums
Ron Rich, percussion
Edward Beal, piano
Ernie Freeman, piano
Al Pellegrini, piano
Ernie Freeman, piano
Nathan Griffin, organ
Sharky Hall, drums
Ray Johnson, piano
Bill Green, saxophone
Plas Johnson, saxophone
John Ewing, trombone
Israel Baker, violin
Robert Barene, violin
Leonard Malarsky, violin
Myron Sandler, violin
Ralph Schaeffer, violin
Sid Sharp, violin
Arnold Belnick, violin
Autrey McKissack, violin
Ralph Schaeffer, violin
Robert Barene, violin
Jermoe Reisler, violin
Harry Hyams, viola
Alexander Neiman, viola
Jesse Ehrlich, cello
Irving Lipschultz, cello
George Neikrug, cello
Emmet Sergeant, cello
William Hinshaw, French horn
Horace Ott, arrangement and conducting
René Hall, arrangement and conductor on 'Nothing Can Change This Love'
Recorded August 23; November 29; December 14–16, 1962 at RCA's Music Center of the World, Hollywood, California
Engineered by Dave Hassinger
Produced by Hugo & Luigi
the son of Reverend Charles Cook, Sr., (a Baptist minister) and Annie May Cook was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1933. He had four brothers and three sisters – Willie, Charles Jr., L.C., David, Mary, Hattie and Agnes.
Sam graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1948, where he distinguished himself as an “A” student as well as being voted “most likely to succeed.” During his formative years, Sam, together with his brothers Charles Jr., L.C. and sisters Mary and Hattie, performed as a gospel group “The Singing Children.”
At the age of 15, Sam became lead singer of the famous “teenage” gospel group the “Highway QC’s” until he was 19 when he was hand-picked by Roy (S.R.) Crain, manager of the “Soul Stirrers,” to replace the legendary R.H. Harris as lead singer.
In 1951, with the “Soul Stirrers,” he began his writing and recording career on Specialty Records with such gospel classics as “Nearer To Thee,” “Touch The Hem Of His Garment” and “Be With Me Jesus.” For six electrifying years he established a new standard for gospel expression.
“It isn’t what you sing that is so important,” said Sam’s father, “but rather the fact that God gave you a good voice to use. He must want you to make people happy by singing, so go ahead and do so.”
With these words of encouragement, he did just that. At the height of his fame in the gospel world and with the screams of believers raising him up and being raised by him, Sam left it all behind.
In June of 1957 he left Specialty Records, along with his producer/manager Bumps Blackwell, and three months later signed with Keen Records where he wrote and recorded such Number 1 hits as “You Send Me,” “Win Your Love For Me,” “Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha,” “Only Sixteen” and “(What A) Wonderful World.” Sam didn’t “cross-over” he “combined” – blending sensuality and spirituality, sophistication and soul.
After the success of “You Send Me” in 1957, Sam signed with the William Morris Agency, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed at New York City’s world famous Copacabana in March of 1958.
In 1959, Sam married Barbara Campbell, his childhood sweetheart, at her Grandmother’s house in Chicago, with his father performing the ceremony. They had two daughters – Linda and Tracey and a son, Vincent, who, in 1963, died tragically at the age of eighteen months. Sam also became partners in 1959 with J.W. Alexander in Kags Music (now ABKCO Music, Inc.) and later that year, with J.W., Sam formed SAR Records (now ABKCO Records). Kags Music would control not only Sam’s 152 classic compositions, but also the compositions written by artists signed to SAR.
In 1960, Sam signed with RCA Records, a deal negotiated by The William Morris Agency, where he continued to write and record such Number 1 hits as “Chain Gang,” “Twisting The Night Away,” “Bring It On Home To Me,” “Having A Party” and “Cupid.”
In 1963, J.W. and Sam appointed Allen Klein to manage SAR, Kags and all of the related companies; at the same time Allen became Sam’s manager. On September 1st of the same year, Sam signed a new agreement whereby all of his RCA business would pass through Sam’s record label, Tracey Records. RCA was now merely Tracey Records’ distributor. This new deal guaranteed Sam a minimum advance of half a million dollars over three years and established Sam’s complete ownership of his work. Everything he did from this point on would be by his own design and direction, and in fact even RCA’s distribution rights of the Tracey material were limited to 30 years from the term of the agreement.
Before producing his good friend Cassius Clay’s (Muhammad Ali) recording titled “The Gang’s All Here,” he and Malcolm X attended Clay’s heavyweight championship bout with Sonny Liston in Miami.
Sam died on December 11, 1964. “At the Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Los Angeles, a crowd of 5,000 persons, some of whom arrived five hours before the scheduled last rites, over-ran facilities designed to accommodate 1,500. In an emotion packed atmosphere, super charged by the singing of Lou Rawls, Bobby Blue Bland and Arthur Lee Simpkins, women fainted, tears ran down men’s cheeks and onlookers shouted. Gospel singer Bessy Griffin, who was to appear on the funeral program, became so grief stricken she had to be carried off. Ray Charles stepped in from the audience to sing and play ‘Angels Keep Watching Over Me’.” EBONY Magazine February 1965
For 14 years Sam sanctified and glorified his gospel heritage and forged new paths by being the first black artist to establish his own record company (SAR) where he helped such gospel oriented artists as the Womack Brothers (Bobby, Cecil, Friendly Jr., Curtis and Harry) who later became the Valentinos, R.H. Harris & His Gospel Paraders, The Simms Twins, Johnnie Morisette, Johnnie Taylor and Billy Preston, as well as giving continued expression to the Soul Stirrers.
Today, many years after he began his writing and recording career, Sam’s music endures with cover recordings by artists from all genres of the recording industry such as Aretha, Bryan Adams, Gerald Alston, The Animals, Arcade Fire, The Band, Billy Bragg, Solomon Burke, Jimmy Buffet, Eric Clapton, Shemekia Copeland, Jim Croce, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Gavin DeGraw, Bob Dylan, The Fugees, Art Garfunkel, Al Green, Leela James, Jon Bon Jovi, R. Kelly, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Nas, The Neville Brothers, Otis Redding, The Righteous Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Seal, Dan Seals, Nina Simone, The Spinners, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, The Supremes, James Taylor, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Womack and Ray Charles, among many others. (Source: http://www.abkco.com)
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