“R&B IN Black” Cascade Media Group’s New R&B Series Featuring Sam Cooke Album Covers

Category: Arts & Entertainment, R&B IN BLACK

Cooke was born Samuel Cook in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1931 (he added the “e” to his last name in 1957 to signify a new start to his life). He was the fifth of eight children of the Rev. Charles Cook, a minister in the Church of Christ (Holiness), and his wife, Annie Mae. One of his younger brothers, L.C. (1932–2017), later became a member of the doo-wop band Johnny Keyes and the Magnificents.[13]

The family moved to Chicago in 1933. Cook attended Doolittle Elementary[15] and Wendell Phillips Academy High School[16] in Chicago, the same school that Nat “King” Cole had attended a few years earlier. Sam Cooke began his career with his siblings in a group called the Singing Children when he was six years old. He first became known as lead singer with the Highway Q.C.’s when he was a teenager, having joined the group at the age of During this time, Cooke befriended fellow gospel singer and neighbor Lou Rawls, who sang in a rival gospel group.

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