#728: A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
Samuel Cook was born in 1931 Clarksdale, Mississippi. His father was a Baptist pastor. After the family moved to Chicago, Cook joined a children’s choir called The Singing Children at the age of nine. At the age of 17 Cook joined an established gospel group formed in 1926 called the Soul Stirrers. He also added an “e” to his surname, becoming Sam Cooke. He honed his vocal abilities further and was signed to Los Angeles based Keen Records in 1957. It was there he recorded his biggest hit, “You Send Me.” It climbed to #1 in November 1957. Cooke got national exposure on the Guy Mitchell Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. In the years that followed Cooke charted 29 Top 40 hits on the pop charts. These include, “Chain Gang,” “Wonderful World,” “Cupid,” “Having a Party,” “Twisting the Night Away,” “Another Saturday Night” and “I’ll Come Running Back to You.” The later was a #1 hit on the R&B charts in 1958.