The Sam Cooke Thread*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    I ordered my copy from Amazon at the beginning of June, and it just shipped. It appears 1 is currently left in stock, at least on the Amazon US site.

    The Cooke family has received no royalties or benefits from his music? That statement is at odds with this history:

    Sam Cooke: Gone for 47 years, but the lawsuits roll on
  2. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    Regarding the stereo mixes of Tribute To The Lady:

    So, the reason the stereo mixes of "Tribute" don't sound great is because they are needledrops, and seemingly not great ones at that. I haven't heard a stereo LP, but I have a feeling the high end may have been rolled off on the box somewhat to mask that fact. But vinyl distortion, noise, and rumble are audible at various points. Definitely the low point of the set.

    Thankfully the mono mixes of T'aint Nobody's Business and Comes Love sound *much* better than they did on The Man Who Invented Soul, where the high end was a mess due to bad tape alignment. I haven't heard the ABKCO SACD, so I don't know if those issues were present there or not.

    It's too bad ABKCO didn't use this set to finally release a "normal" stereo mix of Wonderful World.
  3. Bongo-hifi

    Bongo-hifi Player of gramophone records

    Any views on the SQ of the new vinyl re issues from the Keen box and since? I guess their digital transfers?
    I only have Sam Cooke and Encore on the iffy Italian Get Back/Abraxas havent played them in ages but I recall they had a lot of reverb/echo on Sam's voice. Is that how their supposed to sound?
    CBackley likes this.
  4. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

    I ordered the five Keen LPs from the UK uDiscover store. They’re on their way to the US now. I’ll post my thoughts once they arrive.
  5. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    This is currently on Amazon USA, as delivered by Amazon Global UK, for $40

    Don't miss it if you don't have it

  6. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

    I received all five Keen albums on LP reissued by ABKCO in the UK. I’m very happy with them. I have no other vinyl versions to compare them to, and my system is modest. Still, they sounded pretty good and the production value was high. Flat, quiet, thick vinyl. All inside poly-lined rice paper sleeves. There’s a download card inside each, but I haven’t tested to see whether they work from the US. The album art isn’t the most high-res reproductions I’ve ever seen, but they’re much better than the non-existent vinyl copies I didn’t own before.

    Shipping to the US from the UK took forever. But they were securely packaged.
    Bongo-hifi and Hep Alien like this.
  7. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    I'm guessing the answer is a solid no, but...are there any available releases/reissues of mono versions of his RCA albums (particularly Night Beat, the one I'm mainly interested in)? I love so much of this music but hate listening to some of these stereo mixes on my headphones.
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  15. Odradek

    Odradek Forum Resident

    Helsinki, Finland
    A fake poster made up by someone long after the fact. On this tour, Little Richard was the undisputed headliner, and the third act on the bill was not "Ottis" Redding but Jet Harris:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In October 1962, Otis Redding was still five months away from having his first hit even in the US, and more than a year away from having records released in Europe.
    SteveFff, lukpac and Dflow like this.
  16. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I agree, of course. Earlier, in another thread I posted an image of a similar poster listing Sam Cooke, but with the date in 1966 long after Sam died.

    Fake posters are big business, even in cheap retro posters sold as if reprints of real posters.

    In these cases, they want to grab customers interested in the idea of Sam and Otis performing together.
    Andreas likes this.
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  20. Odradek

    Odradek Forum Resident

    Helsinki, Finland
    Well, not really. Besides those two, other major R&B acts who founded their own label in 1963 or earlier included:

    - Roy Milton (Miltone, 1946)
    - Johnny Otis (Ultra, 1955; Dig, 1956; Eldo, 1960)
    - Lloyd Price (KRC, 1957)
    - B. B. King (Blues Boys Kingdom, 1957)
    - Jimmy Liggins (Duplex, 1958)
    - Louis Jordan (Lou Wa, 1960)
    - Lionel Hampton (Glad-Hamp, 1960)
    - Mickey & Sylvia (Willow, 1961)
    - Nat King Cole (KC, 1962)
    - James Brown (Try Me, 1963)

    None of these had much success in terms of significant chart hits – but then again, neither SAR nor Tangerine had that much more.
    SteveFff likes this.
  21. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I think you are comparing apples and oranges. Some, Nat Cole for example, had no plans to break away from their primary label. Others, most in fact, had little interest in production and management of other artists, or really competing with major labels.

    On top of this, Sam was in his prime and ready to take off.

    I believe that if Sam had lived, there would be books and books about the musical world he created around his record label.

    And none had Muhammad Ali right in their corner.
    saturdayboy and SteveFff like this.
  22. Odradek

    Odradek Forum Resident

    Helsinki, Finland
    But Sam Cooke didn't have plans to break away from his primary label with SAR. For his own records he formed his production company Tracey (while continuing to license its output to RCA), but that was separate from SAR and came years later.

    In this respect, Nat King Cole's situation was perhaps the most similar of all, as he had formed his own production company, Associated Arts, in 1961, which similarly licensed its masters to Capitol and is credited on his Capitol releases from that point onwards.

    Had Cooke lived, SAR might well have had significant success in the soul era, or it might not have. Ray Charles's Tangerine released 109 singles from 1962 to 1971, of which 7 made the Billboard R&B chart, and 6 of those were offshoot releases by the Raeletts or the Ray Charles Orchestra. None made the Top 10. That is a typical result for an artist-run label which manages to stay in business for a decade: not disastrous, but not spectacular either.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
    McLover likes this.
  23. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    It's all speculation, of course, about what might have happened had Sam lived.

    But I think it is virtually certain that he was well positioned to become the dominant star in the international explosion of soul music that came just one to two years after his death.

    A speculation that is not so unrealistic is whether Aretha Franklin might have decided to sign with her mentor and hero Sam Cooke instead of with Atlantic Records. Had that occurred, there might have been a rush of other stars as well.

    This speculation is just as meaningful as speculating that Sam's label would have been a failure.

    But one thing about Sam, he seemed to be successful at everything and he had the talent to back it up.
  24. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident

    Hanahan, SC

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