Have you ever written a song? No?
Go ahead...I'll wait.
Not so easy, is it? There is something magical of having a tune that melds perfectly with the lyrics. Now some songwriters are also gifted with a beautiful singing voice. Sam Cooke would fit into that category. "An incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed" is how one biographer described this talent.
He was born Samuel Cook in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1931. (He later changed it to Sam COOKE, adding the "e", just because he liked the way it looked.) In school, he was an "A" student and was voted "most likely to succeed". Sam Cooke began his singing career the same way that many did, in church. His father was a Church of Christ minister. In 1950, he became the lead singer with the gospel group, The Soul Stirrers. Crossing over into pop music, his song "You Send Me" in 1957 spent six weeks at number one on the R&B charts, and also, three weeks at number one on the Pop Billboard charts. Sam Cooke also was one of the first to have his own record label at a time when songwriters were pressured into signing under the bigger name labels.
Look at the bottom of this post for a list of the songs that he wrote! It would have been longer, I am sure, but his life was cut short at the age of 33.
There is still controversy over his death to this day, you may read about it just here. You may look at any of his songs on YouTube. I have two here for you..."Bring It On Back" and that is Lou Rauls that you hear saying the "yeahs" and singing background! The last one, "A Change Is Gonna Come" was released after his death, and you will forgive me if I believed that it was one that had been written many years earlier, a spiritual if you will, but it is a Sam Cooke song, his very last one.
If you do know someone who can write music and lyrics AND is a good singer, you should encourage them to develop this gift and share it with the world.
I have never been known for subtlety!