My Kind Of Blues Sam Cooke

Album info

Album-Release:
1961

HRA-Release:
01.03.2016

Label: RCA/Legacy

Genre: R&B

Subgenre: Soul

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Don't Get Around Much Any More03:10
  • 2Little Girl Blue02:58
  • 3Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out03:23
  • 4Out in the Cold Again02:24
  • 5But Not for Me02:31
  • 6Exactly Like You02:07
  • 7I'm Just a Lucky So and So03:14
  • 8Since I Met You Baby03:03
  • 9Baby Won't You Please Come Home02:12
  • 10Trouble in Mind02:59
  • 11You're Always On My Mind02:15
  • 12The Song Is Ended (But the Melody Lingers On)02:07
  • Total Runtime32:23

Info for My Kind Of Blues

Sam Cooke is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of Soul music. Through his justifiable legendary and distinctive voice he acquired the nickname 'King Of Soul'. He recorded over 20 albums and his contribution in Soul music was of great influence on the modern world of music. Many artists, including Aretha Franklin, Stevie wonder and Marvin Gaye followed his footsteps.

Cooke's 10th album consists of what later would be called 'blues'. Songs as 'Little Girl Blue' and 'You're Always On My Mind' are leaner textured songs but there are also some big scale brassy orchestration tracks.

Whether you call his music Soul, Blues, smooth Blues or Pop, My Kind Of Blues is a versatile album which contributes to Sam Cookes (sadly) short but successful career.

„Sam Cooke's voice is justifiably legendary, but most of his RCA albums are astonishingly little-known today, and My Kind of Blues explains why this is so, at least in part. The singing is superb throughout, but the repertoire, even in 1961, was not terribly well defined or the recordings well arranged. The basic problem lay in the nature of Cooke's career arc, which probably straddled too many styles and musical worlds for his own good -- the spiritual and the secular, pop and rock & roll, and pop and soul, all as defined in his time (which was, effectively, from the early '50s to the early '60s). The 'blues' as a label on an album had a much wider meaning than it would have had at the other end of the decade, or any time since -- Cooke was part of a world where adult pop still held sway and seemed, at least for the LP market, a more attractive target than the teenage or even collegiate audiences of the time. Thus, the 'blues' heard here would have been appropriate for a mainstream singer -- say, Sinatra, or Nat King Cole -- circa 1961 (or, really, about 1957 -- Cooke's producers were very conservative) -- rather than what most listeners today would call blues. Brassy, big-scale orchestrations abound, and even the leaner textured songs, such as 'Little Girl Blue' and 'You're Always on My Mind,' rely on a reed or horn section, respectively, to augment the electric guitar, piano, bass, and brushed drums at the core of their arrangements. Some of this works beautifully, as on 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out,' which was a good enough song to make it into Cooke's set at his Copa appearances, and, along with a handful of other tracks here, also onto the compilation The Rhythm and the Blues (and the box set The Man Who Invented Soul). All of this is what would probably be called 'smooth blues' (assuming it is defined as blues at all in a modern sense); it's more soul of a pop variety. But Cooke's voice carries it -- even the weakest arrangements and material get elevated, as the best of Cooke's interpretive instincts overcome the worst of his producers' instincts. Given its limitations, My Kind of Blues was never going to be a defining album in Cooke's output, and had he lived past 1964 it almost certainly would have been relegated to his 'early period' in a full career. Its strongest moments, of which there are many, stand on their own, however, and the leanest of the arrangements point the way toward greater things that were to come, including the best parts of Mr. Soul and the whole Night Beat album.“ (Bruce Eder, AMG)

Sam Cooke, vocals
Clifton White, guitar
Everett Barksdale, guitar
George Duvivier, bass
Lloyd Trotman, bass
Panama Francis, drums
Morris Wechsler, piano
Ernest Hayes, piano
Nunzio 'Toots' Mondello, saxophone
Reuben Phillips, saxophone
Seldon Powell, saxophone
Melvin Tax, saxophone
Jerome Richardson, saxophone
Ray Copeland, trumpet
Steve Lipkins, trumpet
Lou Oles, trumpet
Joseph Wilder, trumpet
John Grimes, trumpet
Larry Altpeter, trombone
Albert Godlis, trombone
Frank Saracco, trombone
Eddie Bert, trombone
Sammy Lowe, conductor

Recorded May 19–20, 1961 at RCA Victor's Studio A, New York City
Produced by Hugo & Luigi
Engineered by Bob Simpson

Digitally remastered


Sam Cooke
the son of Reverend Charles Cook, Sr., (a Baptist minister) and Annie May Cook was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1933. He had four brothers and three sisters – Willie, Charles Jr., L.C., David, Mary, Hattie and Agnes.

Sam graduated from Wendell Phillips High School in 1948, where he distinguished himself as an “A” student as well as being voted “most likely to succeed.” During his formative years, Sam, together with his brothers Charles Jr., L.C. and sisters Mary and Hattie, performed as a gospel group “The Singing Children.”

At the age of 15, Sam became lead singer of the famous “teenage” gospel group the “Highway QC’s” until he was 19 when he was hand-picked by Roy (S.R.) Crain, manager of the “Soul Stirrers,” to replace the legendary R.H. Harris as lead singer.

In 1951, with the “Soul Stirrers,” he began his writing and recording career on Specialty Records with such gospel classics as “Nearer To Thee,” “Touch The Hem Of His Garment” and “Be With Me Jesus.” For six electrifying years he established a new standard for gospel expression.

“It isn’t what you sing that is so important,” said Sam’s father, “but rather the fact that God gave you a good voice to use. He must want you to make people happy by singing, so go ahead and do so.”

With these words of encouragement, he did just that. At the height of his fame in the gospel world and with the screams of believers raising him up and being raised by him, Sam left it all behind.

In June of 1957 he left Specialty Records, along with his producer/manager Bumps Blackwell, and three months later signed with Keen Records where he wrote and recorded such Number 1 hits as “You Send Me,” “Win Your Love For Me,” “Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha,” “Only Sixteen” and “(What A) Wonderful World.” Sam didn’t “cross-over” he “combined” – blending sensuality and spirituality, sophistication and soul.

After the success of “You Send Me” in 1957, Sam signed with the William Morris Agency, appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed at New York City’s world famous Copacabana in March of 1958.

In 1959, Sam married Barbara Campbell, his childhood sweetheart, at her Grandmother’s house in Chicago, with his father performing the ceremony. They had two daughters – Linda and Tracey and a son, Vincent, who, in 1963, died tragically at the age of eighteen months. Sam also became partners in 1959 with J.W. Alexander in Kags Music (now ABKCO Music, Inc.) and later that year, with J.W., Sam formed SAR Records (now ABKCO Records). Kags Music would control not only Sam’s 152 classic compositions, but also the compositions written by artists signed to SAR.

In 1960, Sam signed with RCA Records, a deal negotiated by The William Morris Agency, where he continued to write and record such Number 1 hits as “Chain Gang,” “Twisting The Night Away,” “Bring It On Home To Me,” “Having A Party” and “Cupid.”

In 1963, J.W. and Sam appointed Allen Klein to manage SAR, Kags and all of the related companies; at the same time Allen became Sam’s manager. On September 1st of the same year, Sam signed a new agreement whereby all of his RCA business would pass through Sam’s record label, Tracey Records. RCA was now merely Tracey Records’ distributor. This new deal guaranteed Sam a minimum advance of half a million dollars over three years and established Sam’s complete ownership of his work. Everything he did from this point on would be by his own design and direction, and in fact even RCA’s distribution rights of the Tracey material were limited to 30 years from the term of the agreement.

Before producing his good friend Cassius Clay’s (Muhammad Ali) recording titled “The Gang’s All Here,” he and Malcolm X attended Clay’s heavyweight championship bout with Sonny Liston in Miami.

Sam died on December 11, 1964. “At the Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Los Angeles, a crowd of 5,000 persons, some of whom arrived five hours before the scheduled last rites, over-ran facilities designed to accommodate 1,500. In an emotion packed atmosphere, super charged by the singing of Lou Rawls, Bobby Blue Bland and Arthur Lee Simpkins, women fainted, tears ran down men’s cheeks and onlookers shouted. Gospel singer Bessy Griffin, who was to appear on the funeral program, became so grief stricken she had to be carried off. Ray Charles stepped in from the audience to sing and play ‘Angels Keep Watching Over Me’.” EBONY Magazine February 1965

For 14 years Sam sanctified and glorified his gospel heritage and forged new paths by being the first black artist to establish his own record company (SAR) where he helped such gospel oriented artists as the Womack Brothers (Bobby, Cecil, Friendly Jr., Curtis and Harry) who later became the Valentinos, R.H. Harris & His Gospel Paraders, The Simms Twins, Johnnie Morisette, Johnnie Taylor and Billy Preston, as well as giving continued expression to the Soul Stirrers.

Today, many years after he began his writing and recording career, Sam’s music endures with cover recordings by artists from all genres of the recording industry such as Aretha, Bryan Adams, Gerald Alston, The Animals, Arcade Fire, The Band, Billy Bragg, Solomon Burke, Jimmy Buffet, Eric Clapton, Shemekia Copeland, Jim Croce, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Gavin DeGraw, Bob Dylan, The Fugees, Art Garfunkel, Al Green, Leela James, Jon Bon Jovi, R. Kelly, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Nas, The Neville Brothers, Otis Redding, The Righteous Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Seal, Dan Seals, Nina Simone, The Spinners, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, The Supremes, James Taylor, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Jackie Wilson, Bobby Womack and Ray Charles, among many others. (Source: http://www.abkco.com)

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