fun fact!

Released in 1932 and 1933, Try A Little Tenderness found a new home in Otis Redding’s soulful 1966 version: Otis’ idol Sam Cooke, though, had already begun to incorporate the song as a part of his regular live shows. Here it is from his seminal 1964 performance at the Copa in NYC:

my little bitty brother – Otis Redding (Sam Cooke), 1965

Ranked #74 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest albums of all time, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul is considered a masterpiece by the soul singer Otis Redding. The album — famed for having been cut in a span of 24 hours between July 9 and July 10 of 1965– contains original hits like Respect, I’ve Been Loving You…

life is like a song – Etta James, 1960

I can’t not talk about this song. Yes, it’s trite, overplayed, and overheard; it’s cliche and sentimental. But it is all these things because it has stood the test of time. At Last by Etta James was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and remains the most memorable version of a composition…

fun fact!

Growing up, Aretha Franklin quickly befriended — and admired — another soul singer whose steps she would follow away from gospel and toward pop. His name was Sam Cooke.

Give Me Another Start (Leon Bridges, 2015)

It’s really exciting when I hear a new sound from an artist I’ve never heard of, especially in the soul tradition. There have been times when such an instance would occur, and I would discover that the artist really isn’t new at all; (s)he is just new to me, and I hadn’t heard of him/her simply…

fun fact!

Sam Cooke was good friends with Cassius Clay, who remains more well-known now as Muhammad Ali. Here is a clip of the two friends during the prime of their careers: (Sam Cooke with Cassius Clay — Muhammad Ali)

I’ll Be Made Whole (Sam Cooke, 1956)

We return to the figure who launched our journey, the same legend who we now know added the “e” at the end of his last name to make sure he stands out from the rest.  Why he is still considered one of the most influential artists in music requires a look into his life. The…

fun fact!

Sam Cooke added the “e” at the end of his last name “Cook” when he was a teenager to make sure he stood out from the rest.