Today, dec 11, is the anniversary of the death of singer, brilliant songwriter and illustrious recording artist Sam Cooke. He would have been only 84 had he had the chance to live. He was fatally shot, under very suspicious circumstances, at 33 at the Hacienda Motel on Figeroa, here in Los Angeles. So young and such a loss for us all.
As a young teen, my first boyfriend would play me Sam Cooke records as we lay on his bed. Nothing unusual for young lovers except that, other than Buddy Holly, the rest of his record collection was The Dead Kennedy’s, the Stooges, The Angry Samoans, Minor Threat and so on.
One of my favorite recordings of all time, and a must for your collection if you do not have it, is Sam Cook Live at the Harlem Square Club, from 1963. Sam is living up to his namesake and cooking. His personality is captured so well it leaps off the vinyl and he is incredibly likeable and charismatic. you can just feel the electricity in the room and you just wish you were part of that crowd. One of the sings he does at the show is “(Don’t Fight It) Feel It”, which is a line I am ultra found of saying, since it is the key to happiness, yes? I use it not about giving in to temptation, but about feeling your feelings rather than using substances. Funny.
I will leave you with his civil rights era protest classic and top 40 hit “A Change is Gonna Come, ” which was released after his death. Please let that change come. We miss you Sam Cooke.