The Man and His Music.................

Young, Handsome, Warm and Charming, Sam Cooke made friends the way he made fans - quick and easy.

He was born Sam Cook, but changed his last name to Cooke he added the "e" when he started recording.Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 22, 1931, he moved to Chicago as a young kid, and was raised there. Sam grew up in an environment off gospel music and as a young teenager joined a gospel group The Highway Q.C.s. In the meantime a group The Soul Stirreres had a American hit with "By And By" with lead vocals by Ray Harris. When Ray left the group in 1950, Sam took over the built himself a following with his fresh vocal interpretations of gospel standards. After six years of building to the peak of popularity on the gospel scen he turned to secular r&b/soul, and the group took on Johnnie Taylor(who later who became famous in the late 60s and 70s.) as their new lead singers. For Specialty Records in Los Angeles, Sam recorded a debut solo single "Loveable" as Dale Cooke, which was his fathers' name prior to using his real name. In 1957 he officially launched his solo career with "You Send Me", a number 1 single in America on the Keen Label and a UK Top 30 for London Records. After two further UK Top 30 Hits on HMV, "Only Sixteen" which came out in 1959 and "Wonderful World" in 1960, Sam signed with RCA. Here his classic soul hits continued with "Chain Gang" Top 10, 1960, "Cupid" a Top 10, 1961, "Twistin' The Night Away, Top 10, 1962, "Another Saturday Night" Top 30, 1963, and "Frankie and Johnny" Top 30, 1963,m although he was nearly killed in an air crash in 1960. Across America he also scored hits with "Bring It On Home To Me" and "A Change is Gonna Come" which came out in 1964. A lot of people believed " A Change is Gonna Come was about Sam's life, People thought he wrote that song because he knew something bad was going to happen to him, because that song came out right after his death and he recorded the same month of his death. In 1963 he had formed his own label SAR Records with his manager and good friend J.W. Alexander, his artists including Johnnie Taylor, The Sims Twins and The Valentinos(which included Bobby Womack and Cecil Womack and his other brothers.). In December 1964 he was shot dead by Bertha Franklin, the owner of a motel in Los Angeles, in order to protect Elisa Boyer from an alleged secual offence, a case both the media and the music business appeared to cover up at the time. In 1984 RCA were excited to find a master tape of a concert recorded ten months before Sam' death. "Live At The Copa" was released for the first time in 1985. Sam Cooke was a very sweet, considerate guy, he would help anyone out. He discovered and helped a lot of singing groups. He taught some groups and singers such as Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Womack, Lou Rawls, and Aretha Franklin about the "Music Business", groom them and helped them anyway he could. He just had to help at least one person out a day or he couldn't sleep at night. Helping people was one of his "Good Habits". When someone asked him to do something, he never did it when a frown or sigh, he did it with a smile. Sam Cooke was basically the first black man to be so powerful in the Music Business, he knew what he wanted and he how he was gonna get it. He was a business, suave, and he had a lot of charisma, he was be tough but he rather be gentle. Sam Cooke's vocal syle was considered to be unique at the time and a great influence on Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke and other artists of the day and beyond. He also had a brother L.C. Cooke, who at one time was a protege of Aretha Franklin, and his daughter Linda is now the wife of Cecil Womack and one half of Womack & Womack and the brother of Bobby Womack. Even though Sam Cooke's Music Life was going well, his home life wasn't. Between 1960 and until his death he went through a lot. For Instance, he reported on the road his wallet, and later a sportscar, stolen in Chicago; a $3,000 wardrobe lifted in Washington, a gold medallion heisted in Detroit. But there were minor irritations. He went through a bad marriage to a singer-dancer named Delores Mohawk, who was killed in an auto accident in Fresno, California, in 1959. Though divorced from her, Sam paid for the funeral. Sam Cooke himself almost had one brush with death when a car in which he was riding crashed into a trailer truck near Marion, Arkansas, his valet-chauffeur was killed and Sam and two others went to a hospital was was bruised quite badly. One day in 1963 a fan demaded entrance at the Howard Theater in Washington to Sam Cooke's backstage quarters. Charles Cooke, Sam's brother, barred the way. Moments later, Sam saw Charles with a knife buried in his abdomen. His brother recovered. One Summer day in 1963. The youngest daughter of Sam and his wife Barbara, drowned in the family swimming pool. Everyone agreed that he had his share of tragedy and his pain that he felt was in his music. The way Sam died is still a mystery to people still. The girl that he supposedly been with said that he tried to rape her,but no one really knows what happen that night. Elisa Boyer said that she wanted to go home,but Sam wouldn't take her,he took her to a cheap motel room, but what makes people wonder is why didn't she leave when he was in the shower, but she did run but after he came out,and as she was running she had his pants(a lot of people believed that she was trying to steal his money),he ran after her into the the office of Bertha Franklin and she said all kind of things like that Sam was trying to threaten the girl and she was scared to death, and Bertha Franklin asked him to leave but he wouldn't,and they supposedly had a struggle or fight and she shot him and beat him with a broom(she has had some history of violence and bad temper),and she beat him so bad, you can tell by his casket how much his nose and face was disfigured. Elisa Boyer was known as a "Party Girl" and she was with a lot of famous guys of that time. But this will always remain a mystery to us fans. Because think about it, How can he rape her, if he has been "loving on that girl for months". Sam Cooke was brought down by demons and by the bad side of the Music Business, a lot of people felt he was set up. Sam Cooke's funeral was very sad, it was held in Chicago were he was raised and in Los Angeles where he's buried. The streets were packed with more then a thousand people, it looked like a parade, it was fist fights outside, people would go in and take snapshoots of Sam in the casket and try to sell them, women fainted and swooned, young kids and onlookers shouted, tears came out of mens eyes. It was a very sad occasion. But as Sam's mother said, let's not cry, let's celebrate a new life, because he's in heaven, she said "God has found a new, to sing with the angels", That was so sweet. Sam Cooke death was a sad one, no one knew what happen, no one had any evidence or anything. Around the time of his death, a lot of bad things were beginning to happen to Sam, a lot of his belongings and money were stolen and his car, a lot of people were turning their backs on him.There are so many stories, and lies surrounding his death, no one knows who to blaim, but the evidence surround his wife Barbara, Elisa Boyer, and the people who he worked with from day to day, everyone believes they know something until this day. Only Sam and God could tell what really happen that night.

Sam Cooke was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Sam was like silk and very smooth, we will never forget that. He has helped and produced and wrote a lot of songs for a lot of singers who became famous after his death. Sam was very classy,his was the Life of the Parties when he went to clubs and parties. He wasn't much of a dancer, but by the way he sing, he would and could sing you into another dimension. When he would sing at churches all the front room seats would fill with young girls who never sat in the front,but sat there when Sam was there to hear his voice swoon from left to right hypnotizing the girls and making them faint. Sam always treatd his female fans with respect and never used them, he would take 3 or 4 girls out on the town after a show and shower them like they never have been before. Women loved him, and did anything to get close to him. This is a short biography of Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke broke a lot of the boundaries of black music, and he was one of the first Black entrepreneur. If it wasn't for his death, he would of became the first to open a succesful Black studio like Motown. In his music, he wanted everyone to dance and sing to it, and his dream came true. When his music came on blacks and whites crossed the ropes and danced together like it wasn't nothing, all they knew was that it was good music. It was very rare in the 60s to hear a black singer on a white radio station, but for Sam that was different, they played his songs more then any other black singers.Young White Teenagers would call in requesting his music. What made Sam happy is everyone dancing to his music and enjoying it,and he knew they knew what real music was. A lot of the grown-ups who listen to Sam when he was in Gospel Music loved him but when he changed he lost a lot of fans but he gained a lot of fans. Sam Cooke may you rest in peace, and your Music will live on for years to come. The day the music died, was when Sam Cooke left us with so many memories.