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Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

Portrait of a Legend traces Sam Cooke’s work from gospel stardom with the Soul Stirrers to the many sides of his secular transformations of all that “soul” could mean. A dizzying stack of beloved pop hits (“You Send Me,” “Chain Gang,” “Another Saturday Night,” “Cupid”) takes its place here “A Change is Gonna Come” appears in its full version with the “downtown” verse intact. This set is a must for even casual fans of soul and rock music.

Customer Reviews

The man who made soul

I would give this 100 stars if that was an option. I'm going to get some complaints for this, but Sam Cooke created soul. Ray Charles was a Genius, and James Brown took soul to it's highest peaks, but if you want to hear someone who can sing with soul, look no further than this CD. Case in point, "Summertime" is sung so soulfully that you don't think of it as a show tune when he sings it. Lastly, Cooke is the only singer who's voice alone has ever come close to bringing me to tears (on "A Change is Gonna Come" especially), he has that much soul.

Sam Cooke's 30 Greatest...

I believe that the greatest compliment an artist can be given is how his/her music can stand the test of time. Mr. Cooke sounds as sharp, crisp and quite simply perfect today, as I would imagine it sounded then. Classics such as "Cupid", "Chain Gang", "Shake" and the timeless "A Change is Gonna Come" strike a chord to the listener - the soul. I recommend this collection to anyone who would like to be more aquainted with this soul legend.

Best Single Disc Compilation?

While some may argue, this is most likely the best single disc compilation of Cooke's material on the market. You can't go wrong in picking it up.


Born: January 22, 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...
Full Bio