Cooke, Sam

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Cooke, Sam Gender: M
Samuel Cook
born on 22 January 1931 at 14:10 (= 2:10 PM )
Place Clarksdale, Mississippi, 34n12, 90w34
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Clifford
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 01°52' s_mo.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 16°23 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 20°50'

Sam Cooke


American performer with incredible singing talent, whose mixture of pop and gospel laid the foundations for the rise of modern soul music. He had 29 Top Forty hits before he was tragically killed.

One of eight sons of a Baptist minister, Reverend Charles Cook, and raised in Chicago, Sam was a featured singer in his church choir as a child. He teamed with three of his siblings in a group called Soul Children. As a teenager, he became a member of the gospel group the Highway QCs, who performed nationally. He joined the Soul Stirrers on 12/01/1950, touring and recording successfully for almost six years.

In 1956 he made his transition to secular pop with the "Lovable" single recorded under the alias of Dale Cooke in an attempt to avoid alienating his gospel fans. However, that didn’t go over well with the owner of the Soul Stirrers’ label and Cooke was released from his contract. On 6/01/1957 his contract was assigned to Keen Records. He resurfaced with his own song, "You Send Me," which sold two million copies, became the No. 1 song in the country on 12/02/1957 and made him a star. A series of hits followed.

By the early 1960s, Cooke was more involved in the music business with his own independent label, SAR, his own publishing imprint, Kags Music, and his own management firm. He went on to sign with RCA on 1/01/1960 where he took on a grittier, soulful feel. His reworking of "Chain Gang" peaked at No. 2 on both the pop and R&B charts on 10/10/1960. He flourished at RCA and reeled off a string of hits, including the superb blues album "Night Beat" in 1963. His fan base grew in both pop and R&B markets, and he emerged as a crossover superstar.

Then at the peak of his career, Sam Cooke was tragically killed on 12/11/1964. Though details of the circumstances remain hazy; according to reports he was shot three times by the female manager of a Los Angeles motel who claimed she acted in self-defense. Cooke allegedly raped a 22-year-old woman and then turned to the manager. The death was ruled a justifiable homicide. However, it was rumored that many of the crucial details of the case were buried in deference to Cooke’s second wife and two children who wished no further publicity or scrutiny.

Even after his scandalous death, Cooke remained a presence with the single "Shake" issued on 1/30/1965 and reaching the Top Ten. His true epitaph, "A Change Is Gonna Come," was another posthumous hit. Disciples including Otis Redding and Al Green carried on his legacy. "Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963" was finally released in 1985, 22 years after it was recorded. On 1/23/1986 he was named a charter inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with King, Freddie (born 3 September 1934)
  • (has as) protégé relationship with Akens, Jewel (born 12 September 1933)


  • Social : Joined group 1 December 1950 (Joined the Soul Stirrers)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1956 (Pop single released)
  • Work : Contracts, agreements 1 June 1957 (Signed with Keen Records)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Gain social status 2 December 1957 (Record single hits No. 1)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Contracts, agreements 1 January 1960 (Signed with RCA Records)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1963 (Popular album released)
  • Death by Homicide 11 December 1964 (Shot to death, age 33)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 23 January 1986 (Indicted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Frank Clifford quotes his B.C. data given in Daniel Wolff's biography, "You Send Me - the Life and Times of Sam Cook," William Morrow, 1995.

Biography: "Sam Cooke: A Man and His Music."


  • Traits : Body : Race (Black)
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (One of eight sons)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Homicide victim
  • Vocation : Business : Business owner (Management and publishing label company)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc. (Gospel, soul, pop and rock)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Other Entertain/Music (Noted hits posthumously)
  • Notable : Awards : Hall of Fame (Rock and Roll induction posthumously)