Sam Cooke was born in 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was known to attract all sorts of audiences to his, both white and black. He is said to be one of the first artist to “forge a link between pop and soul music”. Because of this accomplishment he is often to referred to as the Father of Soul music. Before he was given this title he started out as a gospel singer, probably because of the influence of his father who was a minister. One of his greatest inspirations was the singing group The Soul Stirrers, which was a well known gospel group. In 1948 the Soul Stirrers offered him the opportunity to perform with the group. He performed with the group for about six years before he decided to go solo and work on his own music. The Soul Stirrers helped give him the foundation he needed in order to become a solo artists.
1957 was an important year for Sam Cooke. In 1957 he released his first single “Lovable”, but it was later on in that year he released one of his most popular hit song entitled “You Send Me”. In 1959 he created a publishing company to promote his music. He had great business techniques that he was able to apply to his publishing company and also when getting RCA to agree to a contract deal with him in 1959. These great business ethics that he self taught himself he was able to use to to create his own record label in the 1960s.”In the Fifites and Sixties, Sam Cooke helped invent soul music by merging gospel sounds with secular themes. Cooke’s pure, elegant crooning was widely imitated, and both his voice and his suave, sophisticated image influenced generations of soul men.”
One of my all time favorite song by Sam Cooke is “Wonderful World”, which was released in April 1960. This song, was an instant hit reaching the top of music charts, and one of his best selling singles compared to his earlier releases. The song peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, and hit number two on Billboards’s Hot R&B Sides chart. This was a popular catchy song, that is still played in today’s movies. A few artists have done covers on the song such as Herman Hermit in the 1960s ,Otis Redding in 1965, and Art Garfunkel in 1978.
Otis Redding is known for doing covers on a several Sam Cooke songs, Sam was a huge inspiration to Otis Redding which is evident in the songs he produced.This is a great love song, but unlike most love songs it is not sad. It’s more upbeat because it is about finding love. Throughout the song he constantly uses the phrase “Don’t know much about…”, he’s referring to different things he may not know about, but he know’s that he is in love with this woman and if they could be together than his life would be wonderful. I think what makes the song so catchy is because the lyric verses are simple and easy to remember, they are sang over a upbeat rhythmic tune. In 1986 he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.