Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke 2.jpg
Cooke in 1963
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Cook
Also known asDale Cook
Born(1931-01-22)January 22, 1931
Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.
OriginChicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 11, 1964(1964-12-11) (aged 33)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s) civil rights activists
Years active1951–1964[1]
Associated acts

Samuel Cook[2] (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964),[2] known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, civil-rights activist and entrepreneur.

Influential as both a singer and composer,[3] he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. He began singing as a child and joined the Soul Stirrers before moving to a solo career where he scored a string of hit songs like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Wonderful World", "Chain Gang", "Twistin' the Night Away", and "Bring it on Home to Me".

His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.[4][5][6] AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was "the inventor of soul music", and possessed "an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed".[7]

On December 11, 1964, at the age of 33, Cooke was shot and killed by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California.[8] After an inquest, the courts ruled Cooke's death to be a justifiable homicide.[9] Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been called into question by Cooke's family.

Early life

Cooke was born Samuel Cook in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1931 (he added the "e" to his last name in 1957 to signify a new start to his life).[10] He was the fifth of eight children of the Rev. Charles Cook, a minister in the Church of Christ (Holiness), and his wife, Annie Mae. One of his younger brothers, L.C. (1932–2017),[11] later became a member of the doo-wop band Johnny Keyes and the Magnificents.[12]

The family moved to Chicago in 1933.[13] Cook attended Doolittle Elementary[14] and Wendell Phillips Academy High School[15] in Chicago, the same school that Nat "King" Cole had attended a few years earlier. Sam Cooke began his career with his siblings in a group called the Singing Children when he was six years old.[16] He first became known as lead singer with the Highway QC's when he was a teenager, having joined the group at the age of 14.[17] During this time, Cooke befriended fellow gospel singer and neighbor Lou Rawls, who sang in a rival gospel group.[18]

Other Languages
العربية: سام كوك
تۆرکجه: سم کوک
Bân-lâm-gú: Sam Cooke
беларуская: Сэм Кук
български: Сам Кук
català: Sam Cooke
čeština: Sam Cooke
Cymraeg: Sam Cooke
dansk: Sam Cooke
Deutsch: Sam Cooke
español: Sam Cooke
euskara: Sam Cooke
فارسی: سم کوک
français: Sam Cooke
Gaeilge: Sam Cooke
한국어: 샘 쿡
հայերեն: Սեմ Կուկ
hrvatski: Sam Cooke
Bahasa Indonesia: Sam Cooke
italiano: Sam Cooke
עברית: סם קוק
magyar: Sam Cooke
Nederlands: Sam Cooke
norsk: Sam Cooke
norsk nynorsk: Sam Cooke
Papiamentu: Sam Cooke
polski: Sam Cooke
português: Sam Cooke
română: Sam Cooke
русский: Кук, Сэм
Simple English: Sam Cooke
српски / srpski: Сем Кук
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sam Cooke
suomi: Sam Cooke
svenska: Sam Cooke
Türkçe: Sam Cooke
українська: Сем Кук
Tiếng Việt: Sam Cooke
Winaray: Sam Cooke
Yorùbá: Sam Cooke