Monday, May 12, 2008

Gospel time

It´s Pentecost Monday, also known as Whit Monday. Pentecost commemorates - I had to look it up - the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus. For me it´s just an extra day off, as I´m not religious at all. But that doesn´t mean I can´t enjoy some serious gospel music every once in a while.

So when I finally realised this morning it was the Monday of Pentecost, I immediately put on the first disc of Sam Cooke´s SAR Records Story box set (SAR ´94) and treated myself to some Soul Stirrers. Sam Cooke was no longer a member of the Soul Stirrers at the time they recorded for SAR, as he had left that famous gospel group in ´57 to try his luck in the pop business. And as the pop hits kept coming, Cooke found himself a wealthy man and started his own label - the first black artist to do so - helping gospel orientated artists such as the Womack Brothers, R.H. Harris & His Gospel Paraders and the group he had just left, the Soul Stirrers. With great results... Just listen to Wade In The Water (featuring Paul Foster as lead singer) to see what I mean. The other tracks have Jimmie Outler as main vocalist. Repent your sins for the soul!

The Soul Stirrers - Wade In The Water MP3
The Soul Stirrers - Praying Ground MP3
The Soul Stirrers - Oh Mary, Don´t You Weep MP3
The Soul Stirrers - Lead Me Jesus MP3


LD said...

Great stuff. Can't get enough classic gospel. Has it been 14 years since the SAR box came out?!?! Man, time flies.

Unknown said...

This album is a great example of Sam's work behind the scenes--as a producer, arranger, and even songwriter. Other artists sing most of the songs on this compilation, but the flavor is all Sam Cooke.

Erik Greene
Author, “Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective”

LD said...

Sam was your uncle?!?! Wow. And you've written a book about this fact? Double wow. Well, I'm happy to say that Sam Cooke has been my favorite singer since I was about 13 years old. How a hapahaole kid from Huntington Beach, CA, comes to select Sam Cooke as his favorite singer is a mystery, but there you go.

Anyway, to add to your commentary, I think one of the great things about the SAR box is the inclusion of Sam's studio banter. Hearing him discuss matters of diction and song meaning gets to the heart of why he was such a great singer and artist. On some level, it's all about communication, and if the singer doesn't feel it, how can they expect the audience to feel it? Great stuff.

Ramone666 said...

It´s an honour to receive a family member of the late great Sam Cooke on the site. Welcome!

Unknown said...

LD, Ramone, thanks for the love.

LD, you hit the nail right on the head about the studio banter. It's priceless because it gives you an non-stage, non-interview side of Sam. When he corrects J.J. Farley on the "thine" issue, he does so respectfully. People respected that about him. The same is true when he's talking to Jimmy Outler with the "Looking Back" issue.

There's so much more to the Sam Cooke story than most people realize, which is why I wrote my book. The facts behind why Sam isn't here with us today is truly one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century. The "official version" of how he died is an absolute farce.