Library Rock's Backpages

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke in studio, 1963. Photo by Frank Driggs.

24 articles

List of articles in the library

By date | By writer | Most recently added

Sam Cooke: Sam Ploughed Money Into Act

Profile by uncredited writer, New Musical Express, 5 October 1962

SAM COOKE is currently one of America's hottest disc properties. Since he scored his first hit with 'You Send Me', Sam has had a pretty ...

Sam Cooke: When you're well-read and dress like wham!

Interview by Maureen Cleave, The Evening Standard, 20 October 1962

WE HAD the wireless on throughout. Sam Cooke wore red-patterned pyjamas, a black dressing-gown and a beaten gold ring, which he wears because he doesn't ...

Sam Cooke: Pop singer shot dead

Report by Ivor Davis, Daily Express, 12 December 1964

Hotel Manageress Fires Three Shots After Girl-In-Chase Drama ...

Sam Cooke Tragedy

Report by uncredited writer, Record Mirror, 19 December 1964

WITH THE DEATH of Sam Cooke in Hollywood last Friday, the RCA-Victor label lost one of its most consistent hit recording artistes. ...

Lou Adler: Producer in the Groove at Picking Hit Records

Profile and Interview by Pete Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 19 April 1967

LOU ADLER, one of the best known and most respected record producers, is a defier of stereotypes: ...

Sam Cooke: This Is Sam Cooke

Review by Dave Marsh, Creem, March 1971

SAM COOKE HAS always seemed, to me at least, the most underrated (or simply ignored – you don't really rate these people) of all the ...

Behind the Scenes with Harold Battiste

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, 9 July 1971

FREQUENTLY, we receive letters from readers' asking us to write about the people behind the scenes in our music. For example, the features we did ...

Sam Cooke: Who Remembers Him Now?

Retrospective by Roger St. Pierre, New Musical Express, 19 August 1972

"NOT 'ALF Sam Cooke's been an influence on me," Rod Stewart was saying in his NME interview last week, adding that the inclusion of 'Twistin' ...

Behind The Scenes With J.W. Alexander

Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, 7 December 1973

J.W. is the man who took Sam Cooke from his gospel background and helped mould him into the very first Soul superstar. He performed a ...

Sam Cooke: Twistin' The Night Away

Review by Cliff White, New Musical Express, 7 August 1976

BETWEEN 1960 and 1963 more Twist albums hit the market than the total spinoff products from Elvis, The Beatles and Jaws. ...

Sam Cooke: Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 (RCA)

Review by Don Waller, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 1985


Sam Cooke: The Man And His Music

Review by Andy Gill, New Musical Express, 26 April 1986

I SUPPOSE any Sam Cooke record is a gift from God, even an LP which fundamentally belies its title in the way this album does. ...

Womack & Womack: Womack Inc. (U.K. Branch)

Interview by Roger St. Pierre, Blues & Soul, 18 November 1986

Womack & Womack tell B&S about their future plans In America and Britain as residents ...

Honey and Sandpaper: Sam Cooke's disciples

Retrospective by Barney Hoskyns, MOJO, January 1995

The deep and enduring influence of Mr Soul. ...

Sam Cooke's SAR Records: Two Desks, One Vision

Retrospective and Interview by Barney Hoskyns, MOJO, January 1995

SAR was Sam Cooke's dream of an R&B empire. It nearly came true. ...

The Soul Stirrer: Sam Cooke

Retrospective by Barney Hoskyns, MOJO, January 1995

FEW ENTERTAINERS have fallen quite so far from grace as Sam Cooke did when he died, 30 years ago, at the Hacienda Motel in south-central ...

Sam Cooke: Live at the Harlem Square Club

Review by Barney Hoskyns, unpublished, 1997

MOST OF SAM Cooke's pop hits were sugary, blanched affairs. This album was the real deal, giving us the church-reared R&B singer who liked to ...

Whose Song Is It Anyway?

Overview by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, July 1998


Sam Cooke: Keep Movin' On (ABKCO)

Review by Ted Drozdowski, The Boston Phoenix, 14 March 2002

THE TRAGIC DEATH of Sam Cooke remains one of rock and roll's great mysteries. Cooke was shot in the wee hours of December 10, 1964, ...

Peter Guralnick: Dream Boogie – The Triumph of Sam Cooke (Little, Brown)

Book Review by Robert Sandall, The Sunday Times, 1 January 2006

SAM COOKE WAS the first black American pop superstar. By 1962, the year of his biggest British hit, 'Twistin' the Night Away', he was the ...

Sam Cooke: Soul and Inspiration

Retrospective by Lenny Kaye, Wondering Sound, 31 August 2010

Possessed of a purity of voice and an unerring sense of pop metaphysics, the incomparable Sam Cooke was a singer of soul and inspiration who ...

Sam Cooke: Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 (ABKCO Records)

Review by Gary Pig Gold, Rock's Backpages, February 2011

MOST EVERY single time the 20th century's greatest singer-songwriters find themselves getting lionized or even litanized, it seems one towering figure is strangely, sorrowfully AWOL. ...

Take The Power Back: Black Artist-Owned Labels

Retrospective by Michael A. Gonzales, Red Bull Academy Magazine, 25 January 2016

At the height of their careers, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, George Clinton and Prince all formed their own imprints. Michael Gonzales tells the ...

Specialty Records: An Interview with Billy Vera

Interview by Tony Burke, Record Collector, September 2021

As the Specialty label celebrates 75 years, Tony Burke talks to Billy Vera – singer, songwriter, and the author of Rip it Up: The Specialty ...

see also Soul Stirrers, The


back to LIBRARY