Sam Cooke Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 on 180g 2LP
The progenitor of soul music, Sam Cooke was a force in the genre from his teenage debut as a full fledged member of the legendary Soul Stirrers in 1951 through his career as a rhythm and blues phenomenon. His hit songs, most of which he wrote, went on to become pop standards, enduring to this very day. Sam Cooke's amazing body of work is encapsulated once and for all in Sam Cooke: Portrait of A Legend: 1951-1964.
Portrait Of A Legend includes all of his essential hits and provides a major overview of a career that has left an ever lasting mark on American music. ABKCO presents tracks from Cooke's gospel and early R&B career as well as his pop/soul hits from the Specialty and RCA labels and has combined them with the cream of the masters that are part of his own company, Tracey Records. He was one of the first recording stars, black or white, to command this kind of artistic control, the most noteworthy other example at the time being Frank Sinatra.
The 31-track, 2LP-set highlights Cooke's astounding grasp of the gospel idiom when, at age 19, he joined the world renowned Soul Stirrers. With Cooke singing lead, the veteran group recorded "Jesus Gave Me Water," on March 1, 1951 at a session for Specialty Records; Sam Cooke's professional career had begun. That same song closes this collection that starts with another Soul Stirrers song, "Touch The Hem Of His Garment," that was written by Cooke. After his decision to sing secular music as a solo artist, Cooke began to dominate the charts, starting with "You Send Me," released by Keen Records in 1957. A simultaneous Pop and R&B #1 smash hit, the career making song is included in this retrospective.
Throughout the late 1950's and until the time of his death, Cooke was one of the most popular vocalists in the world with a streak of Top 10 Billboard Pop Chart hits that, of course, began with "You Send Me" and continued through "Chain Gang," "Twistin' The Night Away," "Another Saturday Night" and "Shake," all of which are included here. Three of these hits were also #1 Billboard R&B Chart singles; two peaked at #2. Seven other songs in the collection were also Top 10 R&B hits including "I'll Come Running Back To You," "Win Your Love For Me," "Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha, "Wonderful World," "Bring It On Home to Me," "Having A Party," "Nothing Can Change This Love," and "A Change Is Gonna Come."
A bonus, hidden track entitled "Soul" is also included on the album. The melody was extemporaneously brought forth by Cooke during an interview with famed DJ Magnificent Montague of "burn baby, burn" fame. He had asked Cooke to "hum 'soul'" and this is an audio document of that moment in 1962. The songs included in Sam Cooke: Portrait Of A Legend collectively logged 273 weeks or five years and three months on Billboard's Pop Chart and a mind boggling 508 weeks (nine years and nine months) on the Pop and R&B charts, combined.
Sam Cooke Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 Track Listing:
1. Touch The Hem Of His Garment
3. You Send Me
4. Only Sixteen
5. (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
6. Just For You
7. Win Your Love For Me
8. Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha
9. I'll Come Running Back To You
10. Nothing Can Change This Love
11. Sugar Dumpling
12. (Ain't That) Good News
13. Meet Me At Mary's Place
14. Twistin' The Night Away
16. Tennessee Waltz
1. I'll Come Running Back To You
2. Nothing Can Change This Love
3. Sugar Dumpling
4. (Ain't That) Good News
5. Meet Me At Mary's Place
6. Twistin' The Night Away
8. Tennessee Waltz
9. Another Saturday Night
10. Good Times
11. Having A Party
12. That's Where It's At
13. A Change Is Gonna Come
14. Jesus Gave Me Water
15. Soul (hidden track)