18 December 2006

A good Sam Cooke fan is hard to find

Sam Cooke was a seminal artist in the early rock-n-roul/soul music scene, but he is hardly remembered today, it would seem. I am a fan, and have been since high school. My dad is also a fan. Anyone else out there?

Cupid (Draw Back Your Bow) and (That's the Sound of the Men Working on the) Chain Gang are two of his best-known tunes, but he did some great gospel and catchy songs such as Everybody Love to Cha-Cha-Cha and Another Saturday Night.

Cooke just had a unique voice. My dad identifies it as achieving its tone by somehow resonating air in his sinuses a certain way; listen for it when he does long, drawn-out vowel tones, such as when he sings:
"Cupid, draw back your bo-o-ow, and let your arrow flo-o-ow,
Straight to my lover's heart for me-e-e..."
Had he lived longer, I suspect that Cooke would have become one of the great singers of the 20th century, and his memory would not reside in semi-obscurity.

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