“Hits Of The Fifties” by Sam Cooke - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1960Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

Sam’s second LP for RCA, released in August 1960. One look at the front cover almost tells you all you need to know… “Hey Sam buddy, want to go and play some golf?” His early Keen LP’s were generally tedious. With the move to RCA, Sam Cooke has plummeted all the way down to the hellish depths occupied by the likes of Johnny Mathis and Perry Como. Even his swell soulful croon can’t save him from this material. Producers Luigi Creatore and Hugo Peretti wrote the liner notes, crammed full of cock and bull, which review this album brilliantly. They even lie about Sam’s age (he was 29 when this came out):

“When rock hit the Fifties, a lot of sensitive citizens corked their ears, crawled into their woofers and occasionally sent messages to the outside world demanding, “Where is the new good music – and where are the good young singers?” Well, this album gives the answer, for the music was there all the time. Out of the Fifties we have chosen a dozen ballads, including “Unchained Melody”, “Too Young” and “The Song from Moulin Rouge”, to prove that along with The Chicken Scratch and other record-hop pops there were new songs, beautiful by any standard. This is the second RCA Victor album we have made with Sam and so a few words are in order. He is tall and slender, with looks that remind you at once of Belafonte and Poitier. Although he is only twenty-five, his vocal training began many years ago in gospel choirs and he was a gospel singer when approached to record popular music. At the moment his father, the Reverend Charles Cooke, counseled, “God doesn’t tell you what to sing but He gave you this talent and you serve Him by using it.” And Sam serves well and conscientiously. At recording sessions he works hard and is always ready for “another take,” although we may stay with it through the early hours of the morning. So what’s new in music – what’s cooking these days? It’s Sam.”

^ What a couple of slipper wearing grandads. On this form, and as those liner notes testify in print, Sam Cooke is the sworn enemy of Rock n Roll…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:36] 3.5.png Sam Cooke - Hey There (Richard Adler, Jerry Ross) Pop Ballad
A2 [02:38] 3.1.png Sam Cooke - Mona Lisa (Jay Livingtson, Ray Evans) Crooner / Cabaret
A3 [02:14] 4.0.png Sam Cooke - Too Young (Sidney Lippman, Sylvia Dee) Crooner / Cabaret
A4 [03:07] 4.0.png Sam Cooke - The Great Pretender (Buck Ram) Crooner / Cabaret
A5 [02:55] 3.5.png Sam Cooke - You, You, You (Lothar Olias, Robert Mellin) Crooner / Cabaret
A6 [03:31] 2.6.png Sam Cooke - Unchained Melody (Hy Zaret, Alex North) Crooner / Cabaret
B1 [03:15] 2.0.png Sam Cooke - The Wayward Wind (Stanley Lebowsky, Herbert Newman) Pop Ballad
B2 [02:50] 2.3.png Sam Cooke - Secret Love (Paul Francis Webster, Sammy Fain) Pop
B3 [02:52] 2.8.png Sam Cooke - Moulin Rouge (Georges Auric, William Engvick) Crooner / Cabaret
B4 [02:49] 2.2.png Sam Cooke - I’m Walking Behind You (Billy Reid) Pop Ballad
B5 [02:19] 3.0.png Sam Cooke - Cry (Churchill Kohlman) Crooner / Cabaret
B6 [02:55] 3.2.png Sam Cooke - Venus (Ed Marshall) Pop

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