Music Monday: January 24, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Saturday marked the 91st birth anniversary of an extraordinary soul pioneer. Sam Cooke was born January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Raised in Chicago, his first foray into music was in church courtesy of his father, a Baptist minister. When he was 15 Cooke began singing with a gospel group, The Soul Stirrers. In 1958 he released his first album of secular music, a mix of standards, Broadway tunes and one original track, the magnificent “You Send Me”.

Over the next six years Cooke would write & record many other songs, including “Cupid”, “Chain Gang”, “Another Saturday Night”, Wonderful World” and the civil rights inspired “A Change Is Gonna Come”. He also became an important member in the early days of that movement along side Muhammad Ali & Martin Luther King Jr. Cooke took an even bigger role in his career by starting his own record label (SAR Records) and publishing company (KAGS Music) to preserve his artistic legacy. Losing him in 1964 at age 33 was an unmitigated tragedy & one of music’s saddest moments. But more than six decades after his first hit record, Cooke remains one of the most important & enduring figures in music history. And rightfully so.

All of his songs are are wonderful beyond words but today’s song from his tenure with The Soul Stirrers is from my top five. His strong beautiful soulful and evocative vocal is stunning. I could listen to him sing the word “mile” for days and days and still not hear it enough. A suave elegant gifted performer with an unbelievable stage presence, Cooke defined the soul genre with every note he sang.

When I’ve gone the last mile of the way
I shall rest at the close of day
For I know there are joys awaiting
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way”.

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Muhammad Ali (left) in the studio with Sam Cooke (right) circa 1964. Courtesy of officialsamcooke.com. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Soul Stirrers: “The Last Mile Of The Way” (Recorded between 1950-1957. Written by Johnson Oatman, Jr.).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: September 20, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Every Friday night one of my local radio stations hosts Friday Night Block Partys where they play four songs in a row by the same artist. Last weekend for the first time in a long time they featured Cheap Trick and I have to say, it was really good to hear “Dream Police” again.

I was a big fan of the group while I was growing up but I am sorry to say my interest waned over the years. It seemed as if every album contained re-worked versions of their old hits and I just lost interest. But when they released Silver in 2001 it came with a DVD and a friend of mine gave it to me to watch. It was great to see the band on stage together again and this time they included a few of their grown children on some songs. I really liked their 2006 release Rockford as well.

But then sadly they turned into The Eagles & started fighting when drummer Bun E. Carlos needed to pull back from a few tour dates for health reasons. Lawsuits ensued in 2012 and it was just sad. I have to say if a band is together 25+ years and then the fighting starts I just do not understand it. At that point life has happened to them all, they are not kids or newbie rock stars anymore so just agree to disagree and move on. I know it is easier said then done but I think after that many years together they can find a way to work things out on and off the stage.

So my interest waned again after that but I read they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame with Carlos in 2016. Today’s song is probably my favorite one that Cheap Trick ever recorded.

You didn’t know what
You were looking for
‘Till you heard the
Voices in your ear
“.

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Cheap Trick circa 1979 (L-R): Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Peterson. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Cheap Trick: “Voices” (1979, written by Rick Nielsen).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love with you.

Stay well.