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One Night Stand! Live At the Harlem Square Club, 1963

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iTunes Review

Not officially released until 1985, these live recordings from Miami's Harlem Square Club on Jan. 12, 1963, showcase Sam Cooke as a tough, demanding R&B singer, far from the smooth pop stylings of his singles. Playing with his road band and saxophonist King Curtis, Cooke has all-star accompaniment at every turn. But the true star here is Cooke. It's his gritty delivery that reinvigorates the once-mild offerings of "Cupid" and "For Sentimental Reasons" and takes his soul classics like "Chain Gang," "Twistin' the Night Away," "Bring It on Home to Me," and "Having a Party" and turns them into passionate, personal expressions of spiritual power. Cooke brings his gospel best to the material, and his influence on Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, and an entire generation of rock 'n' roll singers can be traced to his interpretations' phrasings and energy. Even the audience gets involved. With this much excitement, it'd be impossible to not get in the spirit. 

Customer Reviews

Best Live Album. Ever.

The way this man plays to his audience is simply amazing. I would never have said that I was a fan of Sam Cooke, but this is truly an exceptional piece of art, a document of a performer in his prime, backed by an incredible band, but Mr. Cooke is truly the one who shines on this album. Your life will be better having this album in your heart.


I employ you to find one live album with the soul, emotion, feeling, intensity, and quality matching this one. This album is truly a testament to the absolutely incredible and amazing raw vocal ability and captivating stage presence of perhaps the single greatest voice this world has ever seen, Sam Cooke. When you hear his raspy powerful voice toss these songs forward at the crowd you cant help but feel them to your very core. That is what SOUL music is all about. Feeling every bit of the song moving in your spirit. Its almost as if the Soul music genre was created by and for Sam Cooke himself. There will never be another like him. He is truly an innovator and legend that set the bar for styles of singing that just about every singer in any genre has followed. He was truly an amazing man, and this album is a rare yet priceless keep sake of him at his essential greatest.

Havin a Party

I must agree; this is beyond great, into a category of its own. Even the audience is excellent, singing along at Sam's direction. One vast chorus. I'd like to see Twyla Tharp choreograph the story of Sam Cooke's life, focusing on this live performance. Can you imagine that? They'd be dancing in the aisles.


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...
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