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The Man Who Invented Soul

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Sam Cooke's decision to shift away from The Soul Stirrers' gospel and blend R&B with pop music meant Cooke indeed "invented" soul music for the '60s. This extensive career survey starts with his early pop successes, such as "You Send Me," "For Sentimental Reasons," and select album tracks. It ends with the complete Night Beat and Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 albums. Though contractual reasons prevent "A Change Is Gonna Come" and other material from Cooke's final year of recording from being included here, there's no shortage of great songs to uncover. Quite simply, Cooke could sing anything and make it a meaningful experience. While pop hits like "Only Sixteen," "Havin' a Party," and "Twistin' the Night Away" are obvious and joyous performances, it's heartening that lesser-known cuts such as "Let's Go Steady Again," "I Lost Everything," and the alternate takes of "Another Saturday Night" and "Sad Mood" are also featured. The amount of material Cooke recorded ensures that it takes several decent collections to capture the full spectrum of his achievements. However, The Man Who Invented Soul is an essential centerpiece.


Born: 22 January 1931 in Clarksdale, MS

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s

Sam Cooke was the most important soul singer in history -- he was also the inventor of soul music, and its most popular and beloved performer in both the black and white communities. Equally important, he was among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of the music business, and founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. Yet, those business interests didn't prevent him from being engaged in...
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