musicology #79


sixartist,sixtune,sixweekspecial Sam Cooke Bonus #2

(Sam Cooke w/ The Soul Stirrers – Were You There)

even though Soul sprung from the well of gospel, (evident with the wealth of singers that sprung out of this tradition), there were certain ingredients that not many shared. only two artists, (of this period), managed to make the transition and shape the ‘new sound’. Sam Cooke and Clyde McPhatter before him. But only Sam stepped out of the gospel limelight to cast his long shadow over popular music in such a way.

the greatest singers share the ability to communicate and deliver the message to all people regardless of personal beliefs and musical preference and this one taken from his final Soul Stirrers recording session in 1957 is an example of this special quality…not being a christian doesn’t stop me from feeling it deeply.

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4 thoughts on “musicology #79

  1. Sam Cooke singing gospel, it dont get much better than that, he really belted this one out too,
    it did indeed make me ‘tremble’. I thought he sounded angry.

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  2. interesting you say that…I have the ‘intro’ to this ‘take’, (5) and on the first 4, the groove and pace are not to his liking and he is angry. also it’s from his final soul stirrers recording session so, I imagine, he was going through a period of transition.

    it’s apparent that he loved the Gospel and may have felt he was ‘selling his soul’ but, I like to think he made his peace with the fact that when there’s a message to deliver the more people it can be delivered to the more effective the message is.

    brother Soul…thanks for showing the courage to step out of the comfort zone to deliver and share it. we are still feeling the vibes…strong.

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  3. I heart this song so very very much. I grew up on it. My Dad (RIP) sang in a Gospel Group when I was a child and of course the group patterned many of their arrangements on the Soul Stirrers, who were at the height of their career at the time. During rehearsals the group would study the Soul Stirrers records, playing them over and over again (and Sam’s vocal stylings in particular) to get their parts down pat.

    My Dad sang lead on this song – so it is very special to me.

    Again thanks for sharing.

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