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Unformatted text preview: De Zarraga 1 Manuel de Zarraga Professor Jen Gunderman History of Rock Music March 1, 2011 Sam Cooke and the Early Days of Rock and Roll L.C. Cooke vividly remembers an image from his childhood where his younger brother Sam, at the tender age of seven, displayed his ambition to be an artist by lining up wooden sticks to serve as his audience. Sam told L.C. Im gonna sing, and Im going to make myself a lot of money. 1 Young Sam could not have been more right. Sam Cooke was involved in with music from a young age; his father was a minister and encouraged his family to participate in services by singing. Sam Cookes father was a fiery minister who delivered his sermon in an emotional manner using singing and gospel music, which influenced his son to sing gospel music from a young age. Cooke did not waste much time in accomplishing his goal of being a singer. Sam was already a member of the gospel group the Soul Stirrers before he was 20. This was the start to Cookes career as a musician in which he was able to successfully cross from gospel, to pop, rhythms and blues to rock and back to his roots of gospel music. Despite being murdered in his prime, Sam managed to leave a lasting impression on the music industry in the fifties and sixties when rock and roll first began to emerge. Sam Cooke is a historically significant figure in the history of Rock and Roll because of his influence as a gospel singer, role as a teen idol, work in the music business, and involvement in the civil rights movement. Sam Cookes vocal style was influenced by the gospel group the Soul Stirrers, which he later joined leading to his rise to fame and giving him the ability to influence others. One of 1 1 Guralnick,Peter . Dream boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. 1 ed. Little, Brown and Company, 2005. pg7 De Zarraga 2 the greatest influences on Cooke while he sang gospel music was the Soul Stirrers RH Harris who used a whoa yodel that influenced Cooke. Cooke started as the front man of the teen gospel group Highway QCs. When the lead man of the Soul Stirrers RH Harris left the group, Cooke was offered a dream position for him at the time, to replace his idol RH Harris. The Soul Stirrers are well known to be the innovators of shared lead vocals in black sacred music. 2 Their song You Send Me sold over 2 million copies and helped make Sam Cooke, a gospel superstar. 3 The song was the first to display Cookes vocal style, the yodel, 4 which helped him win over fans. A casually fluttered high note characterizes the yodel. With Sam Cooke as their front man, the group became the biggest and one of the most influential gospel music groups. Cooke became a star and people were excited to see the Soul Stirrers everywhere....
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- Spring '11