Sam Cooke - Sam Cooke (Vinyl)

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Cooke’s 1958 LP debut for the Keen label, simply titled Sam Cooke also known as Songs By Sam Cooke, is the start of his career as a secular artist after a glorious six-year run fronting gospel group The Soul Stirrers. The sessions were arranged and orchestrated by Bumps Blackwell, the Keen Records A&R director, who was the first person to recognise Cooke’s potential as a pop singer.

Beyond the glorious You Send Me, (written by Sam’s brother) the album includes the radical take on Gershwin - Summertime (Part 2), and classics - Ain’t Misbehavin’, That Lucky Old Sun and Danny Boy.


The very first LP album by ex-gospel sex symbol who had previously moonlighted for famed "Chess" recording label and now decided to spread his wings into pop market. Cooke sings like an angel and emulates yodels and tricks from his gospel idols, but music here is dressed in a traditional pop gowns that were probably meant to show his maturity and respectability - "Summertime", "Ol' Man River", "Around the World" and "Danny Boy" are all on a extremely mellow, safe side and combined with album photo cover, Cooke comes on as a non-threatening, well-behaved future son-in-law which also means its all slightly predictable and boring. Only singer's magnificent voice uplift what is basically a uninspired collection - album is lead by wonderful pop single (signed here by "L.C. Cook" which is a pseudonym he used on "Chess") and apparently pop singles were his main focus, while albums were tailored for older, mature market - be that as it may, this kind of music was not meant for younger audience and it appears like it has all been calculated to break him into Las Vegas market where he might follow Nat King Cole's footsteps.


By: 1969SL

A1 You Send Me
A2 The Lonesome Road
A3 Tammy
A4 Ol' Man River
A5 Moonlight In Vermont
A6 Canadian Sunset
B1 Summertime
B2 Around The World
B3 Ain't Misbehavin'
B4 The Bells Of St. Mary's
B5 So Long
B6 Danny Boy
B7 That Lucky Old Sun

Arranged By – 'Bumps' Blackwell
Barcode - 018771864417
2020 reissue by Keen/Abkco, distributed by Universal Music.