People !
I’m back !
Hope everyone’s ok...well let me see, let’s start with dynamite shall we.
Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club ! Yeah !
Sam Cooke is one of my secret hero, I bet he’s one of yours too !
Frankly, most of Sam Cooke's pop hits were sugary, blanched affairs (don’t get me wrong, I love the tracks that way).
But this live album was the real deal, giving us the church-reared R&B singer who liked to tear up the clubs along the Southern chitlin circuit.
Recorded in Florida in 1963, 'Live at the Harlem Square Club' captures the man at his sanctified, sandpapered best ! The voice worshipped by disciples from Otis Redding to Rod Stewart. No syrupy glissandos or polite Hollywood chorales here: this is sweat-drenched, back-to-basics R&B, with Sam tearing up "Chain Gang," !
This set only makes it seem sadder that Cooke never lived to reign in the soul era he inaugurated...
And frankly, if you wanna be my friend, you’d better get this record now !
This is dynamite !
and...Welcome Back !

Sam Cooke :
* Twistin' The Night Away (Live) *
* Chain Gang (Live) *
* Having A Party (Live) *


Yayo said…
welcome back!
really a nice post!!

Sam's Neph said…
I feel "Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963" was an important album in Sam's career for those very reasons you mentioned--it showed a side of Sam that mainstream America wasn't used to seeing. His black pop audience had seen this side in concert, and to an extent his gospel audience had too, but the reason his pop songs sounded "sugary and blanched" was by design. Sam's intention was to capture the pop market without losing his natural audience, a crossover move that is taken for granted today but was revolutionary in the late 50's and early 60's.

Once his pop career is seen in this light, his legacy becomes that much more important in music history.

Erik Greene
Author, “Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective”
J. said…
Fantastic return Rev !!!
tom said…
Twistin' the rev away.
Anonymous said…
You know I know these songs by heart!! You must have been rasied proper, cause you sure got some good taste in music! Welcome home son!
Too lazy to log in!!

sue said…
splendid tracks thanks
Tom G said…
Holy shit, you can really tell where Rod Stewart got the idea to cover "Twistin'..." No syrup in Cooke's live version, that's straight-up sweat!

A big fat thanks Rev!
parqbench said…
This album has been famously -- and correctly -- compared to the better-know "Copa" album and deemed vastly superior. I have it on LP, but how great to have a couple of tracks (the three best, may I add) for the ol' Pod.

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