Producer Jerry Wexler always thought Cooke has the greatest voice of his generation. Considering Wexler made all those great records with Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, among others, that's quite a recommendation. Cooke's life story is practically a parable for the story of soul music itself--from the innocence of shouting gospel to a sordid death outside a hooker's seedy hotel room. He became one of the first major black artists to establish his creative self-determination with a major label. He laid the cornerstones of the music called soul. group, the Soul Stirrers, Cooke had to hold his first pop sessions in secret, releasing the results under a pseudonym to relative indifference. But his next single, "You Send Me," went No. 1 in 1957, and Cooke never looked back. He not only expertly explored a vast broad cross-section of music on his own recordings--blues, supper club pop, epic ballads, Top 40 jive--but he wrote and produced brilliantly for other artists. His extraordinary impact cannot be over estimated; the pure sound in his throbbing, sensual voice intoxicated so many other vocalists--as well as listeners--that his style continues to echo throughout the pop scene long after his death. But his many and momentous accomplishments still live, well preserved in a number of different collections of his work.
Albums by Sam Cooke