Monday, 14 December 2009

Late night cooking with Sam Cooke

I just realised in time that the 45th anniversary of the death of Sam Cooke, one of the pioneers and founders of American soul music, fell three days ago. Born in 1931, he died on 11 Dec 1964 from gunshot fired by the manageress of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles. According to the manageress, Bertha Franklin, the singer was drunk and distressed, and she had feared for her life. She told police that she shot and killed Cooke in self-defence because he had threatened her. Police found Cooke's body in Franklin's apartment-office, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes, but no shirt, pants or underwear. The shooting was ultimately ruled a justifiable homicide.

Yesterday, in tribute to Sam Cooke, I placed this album, Night Beat, on the turntable. This album, recorded in February 1963, is considered to be one of Cooke's most intimate and soulful efforts. The songs are irresistible and should be listened to when it's late at night or very early in the morning, with the lights switched off. When the man's voice comes out at you directly from the speakers, you'll really appreciate this little gem of an album. Truly wonderful.

Side 1: Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen, Lost And Lookin', Mean Old World, Please Don't Drive Me Away, I Lost Everything, Get Yourself Another Fool

Side 2: Little Red Rooster, Laughin' And Clownin', Trouble Blues, You Gotta Move, Fool's Paradise, Shake Rattle & Roll.

1 comment:

Sam's Neph said...

Thank you for remembering this great album from an even greater artist. His memory will live on forever (unfortunately, the misconceptions of how he died will too).

Erik Greene
Author, "Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective"