Sam Cooke is known as the "King of Soul" and one of the most influential musicians in American history. We are learning about Sam Cooke because he had an amazing singing voice, he helped create a whole new music genre and he used his platform as a famous Black musician to speak against racial inequality in America in the 1960s.
Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers
Sam Cooke began his career singing gospel music, giving him a foundation of music experience that he then brought into his solo career and adapted into a soul music. His gospel music was full of emotional lyrics and vocals, and clapping or stomping in the background that sets the mood of the song.
Part of "The Last Mile of the Way" by: The Soul Stirrers
"The King of Soul"
Sam Cooke is known as the "King of Soul" because he brought together elements of gospel music with other unique musical elements to create art that went beyond the categories of music to form a whole new genre called soul music. In "Twistin the Night Away" he brought together beautiful vocals of his voice, with a powerful background band to set the up-beat emotion, with lyrics about dancing all night!
The recording of "Twistin' The Night Away" and a live performance from 1963!
Using His Voice in a Powerful Way
He used his voice and platform as a famous Black musician with a large audience to stand against racial inequality by refusing to play in segregated spaces, being one of the few Black musicians to be on TV shows highlighting musicians, and find power in his own voice for himself and for everyone else.