The Father of Soul

06.08.06 12 years ago 9 Comments

At first, us at TSS didn’t really have words for this man. But now it seems a bit clearer. The Father of Soul, fuck what you heard. Sam Cooke transcends the genre of soul music to this very day. I dare anyone to argue otherwise. He may not have enjoyed the huge mainstream success as Al Green, Teddy Pendegrass, or Marvin Gaye, but in one sense he trumps them all. Shit, even Otis Redding wanted to be the “next” Sam Cooke.

Like all great men in music, he had his demons. As did Ray, Miles, and to a weirder extent, Mike Jack. A blatant womanizer, son of a preacher, torn between his earthly desires and the word of God.

For his time, Sam was as well rounded as a doo-wop/soul singer could be. Songs on:

Love,

Heartbreak,

Life,

Hitting the club,

Prison,

Underage puppy love,

and Religion

…were all under the range of subject matter of what he could touch on.

He may have died at his peak in quite an ironic manner, but the impression he left on folks till this very day cannot go unnoticed. Any old head can remember spinning Sam on them 45’s. Coolin at the social clubs, there wasn’t one jukebox that didn’t have my mans on it. Me and other TSS may have been too young to experience the impact he left on music, but if you’re a fan of soul music, you know that voice as soon as it comes on. The ultimate archetype for male soul centric singers you see today. Sam stays on repeat when i’m at the crib on some easygoing type stuff. A must have for anyone looking to expand their soul library if you don’t already have it.

I remember back in maybe 85-86, when an old head first put the tune “A Change Gonna Come” on the turntable while he was babysitting me. At the time I may not have known the full message, but I still felt his mood through his voice. To me that’s the voice of a TRUE soul artist. The horns, strings, and Sam’s voice did it to me, pause. I still catch myself humming it during idle times. No stray shots today, just Mr Cooke. Enjoy the music as I did, not for the entertainment, but how it speaks to you.

From now on, you’ll be getting hit with weekly posts on Retro’s Soul Centric tip. No Hip Hop, no mixtapes, no filler, all soul. From Bob Marley to Frank Sinatra to Peaches and Herb to whoever, I think the term “soul centric” covers it all. Sit back and enjoy the ride from here on out.

Shout out to Ant, droppin a little knowledge to the kids on NT, CS.CA, and all the others who hit me up with an appreciation for soul music.

Retro Out

The Father of Soul Links

The Man Who Invented Soul, Discs 1-4

Sam Cooke “The Best Of”

Sam Cooke – Wonderful World

Sam Cooke – Live at The Harlem Square Club and Night Beat/Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963

You’re still my number 1.

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