Hello, Sam Cooke was born on January 22, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The son of a Baptist minister, grew up in Chicago, Illinois. Sang in choir from the age of six. His musical roots were in Gospel music. He sang with the Highway Q.C’s, was the lead singer of the Soul Stirrers from 1950-1956. His first recordings in secular music were in 1956, as Dale Cook on Specialty Records. The “e” was added later to his name.
In 1957 Sam Cooke would record a song that would take him to the top of the charts and make him one of the biggest singing stars in America. Sam was not only a wonderful R&B singer, he was a great song writer. Sam made a demo of a song he had written, YOU SEND ME. The demo featured only his own guitar accompaniment. The demo was recorded in 1955. The first recording of YOU SEND ME was in December of 1956. The classic hit version was recorded in Los Angeles in June of 1957. It was released as a single on Keen Records. As legend goes, YOU SEND ME was not the “A” side of the single. The “A” side was the classic, SUMMERTIME. Disc Jockeys began playing the “B” side and it soon took off, racing up the charts.
On October 21, 1957 YOU SEND ME made its Billboard Top 100 debut, on December 9, 1957 it was the #1 song on the Top 100 and remained at #1 for 3 weeks. The song entered the Billboard R&B chart the same date and on November 25, 1957 it was #1 on the chart. YOU SEND ME was #1 for six-weeks on the R&B chart and remained on the chart for 18 weeks. It remained on the Top 100, Pop chart for 26 weeks. The Cash Box magazine best-selling record chart became the third American music chart the Sam Cooke would chart at #1. On November 30, 1957, YOU SEND ME was #1 and remained at the top of the chart for 2 weeks.
The single record had sales of over 1.5 million copies, overnight Sam Cooke became a superstar. His audience was black and white, men and women, teen and the older market…he was just getting started. Sam was awarded a “Gold Record”, his first of many. The “B” side, SUMMERTIME reached the Top 100 on November 4, 1957. The single charted at #81.
Teresa Brewer recorded a version of YOU SEND ME on Coral Records, it became a Top 10 hit for her, charting at #8. Sam Cooke’s song is a “classic”. It has been selected as one of the most important recording in rock and roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The song has been awarded a Hall Of Fame, Grammy Award and the Rolling Stone magazine ranks it at #115 on the list of the 500 Greatest Song of All Time. YOU SEND ME crossed the Atlantic and became a big hit on the UK Singles Chart, #29 in 1958.
This all-time classic recording has been covered by many big artists through the years, including…Michael Bolton, Nat King Cole, The Everly Brother, Aretha Franklin and many others. The ultimate version belongs to the legendary Sam Cooke…a love song for the ages…timeless…classic…for lovers of all ages. Sam Cooke, the man and his music are a wonderful and lasting treasure, from the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”
Till the next time—Joe