By Michael E. Ross
February 17, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cook

type
  • Book
Genre

YOU SEND ME: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAM COOK Daniel Wolff with S.R. Crain, Clifton White, and G. David Tenenbaum (Morrow, $23) This life of a legendary soul singer begins with the ending: Sam Cooke’s death, on Dec. 11, 1964, of gunshot wounds fired by the manager of a seedy L.A. motel whose office door an enraged Cooke had broken down (the killing was ruled ”justifiable homicide”). The grim episode is a dry recitation of what we’ve tended to remember about Sam Cooke; for years his role in popular music has been smudged, his talents overlooked if not ignored. This biography gives him overdue recognition. Cooke became the ultimate crossover artist, singing in many styles-spirituals, show tunes, folk, pop standards-and writing songs that became classics. His ascension dovetailed with the rising civil rights movement, and besides offering biographical information, You Send Me places Cooke on this bigger stage, casting him in the nation’s emerging societal drama. Written with S.R. Crain, founder of the Soul Stirrers gospel quartet, and Clifton White, Cooke’s guitarist, the book yields insights only insiders would know, and does it in engaging style. Sam Cooke experienced the complexities of life in a turbulent era. His biographers have defined the man, his music, and his time in a candid, thorough work. B+

You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cook

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  • Book
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  • You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cook
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