You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke

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9780688124038: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke

A biography of gospel singer Sam Cooke chronicles the life of the pioneering African-American musical entrepreneur, from his success in gospel music, to his move into pop music, to his untimely murder at age thirty-three. 25,000 first printing.

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Review:

Decades after his death, Sam Cooke's thrilling, seductive tenor remains one of the glories of American popular music. His compositions have inspired a multitude of covers, few of which manage to lay a finger on the original versions. And Cooke's vocal mannerisms--the melismatic swooping and yodeling he applied to key phrases--are still audible every time Aaron Neville opens his mouth (not to mention a host of other singers, from Rod Stewart to Aretha Franklin). Clearly, then, it was time for a full-dress biography, and Daniel Wolff has done a superlative job. He traces the singer's transformation from gospel prodigy, who hit the road with the Soul Stirrers at the tender age of 19, to secular star. Endlessly ambitious, Cooke never quite figured out how to juggle his sacred and profane instincts, and Wolff is particularly good on this balancing act, as well as on the racial politics of the music industry.

About the Author:

Sam Cooke was a hugely successful singer, songwriter and entrepreneur and is considered to be one of the founders of soul music. He is commonly known as the King of Soul for his unmatched vocal abilities and influence on the modern world of music. His contribution in pioneering soul music led to the rise of artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. Cooke's major hits include "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", and "Bring It on Home to Me". On December 11, 1964, Cooke was shot dead by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California at the age of 33. Though it was ruled a justifiable homicide at the time, the circumstances of his death have since been widely questioned.

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