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The SAR Records Story

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Album Review

Sam Cooke's SAR Records Story is a double-disc set presenting material recorded for the legendary soul singer's own SAR label from 1959-1965, much of it produced by Cooke himself and including a few of his rough, unreleased demos. The first disc covers the label's religious side, with a multitude of cuts from Cooke's former group the Soul Stirrers (now with Jimmie Outler on lead vocals), plus a generous helping of songs by R.H. Harris & His Gospel Paraders and the Womack Brothers. The second disc covers essentially the same gospel-derived soul territory but with a secular bent, featuring future stars Bobby Womack (with the Valentinos), Billy Preston, and Johnnie Taylor, plus L.C. Cooke, Johnnie Morisette, the Sims Twins, and Mel Carter. All in all, it's an excellent look at a lesser-known portion of Cooke's career, and there's some great, underappreciated music to boot. [The 1995 edition was also produced in a 'longbox' packaging format.]

Customer Reviews


The first half of this collection, focusing on the Soul Stirrers, features some of the most wonderful gospel songs ever written - and inspired, R&B-style performances. If this don't stir you soul, if it don't make you wanna sing and shout, if it don't move you... child, ain't you alive? The second half has some good music too, though much more pop... I find myself wishing that I could pick and choose and not end up paying more.

Well Worth The Investment

If you're a SC fan this is a must have. There are a TON of songs on these two discs. You may not like every one, but you'll love most of them. RH Harris on the gospel disc is incredible--check out "Somebody", it's haunting. On the secular side Sam sings "Somewhere There's A Girl", one of my new favs. His brother is also great on "Put Me Down Easy", one of many SC originals. "Wade in the Water", "I'm a Pilgram", "Soothe Me", "That's Where It's At" are all indespensible. Any fan of soul will not be dissapointed!

you send me

this alone is worth it for the demo version of you send me


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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