Among the all-time great vocalists to ever sing a song, the late Sam Cooke was born on this date in 1931. Only 33 when he was tragically murdered, the Chicago-raised Cooke produced hit after hit thanks to an undeniably enrapturing vocal tone and artistic ability developed during his all-too-short career.
Known for beloved renditions of “Cupid,” “Twistin’ The Night Away,” “You Send Me” and “Chain Gang,” Cooke’s early-1960s recordings established him as a pioneer in the popularizing of soul and R&B music within the mainstream of America. One of his most revered contributions was the 1964 single “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which Cooke composed and recorded and that brought him to the forefront of political music and the Civil Rights Movement of the era.
Cooke heard Bob Dylan’s 1963 release “Blowin’ In The Wind” and was motivated to write “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Note only did Dylan’s composition inspire a new song, Cooke also began to perform the track recorded on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan during live performances.
For a birthday celebration installment of Sunday Cinema, watch Cooke performing “Blowin’ In The Wind” for television in the video below: