This Week in Hip-Hop/R&B History: Sam Cooke Hits the Studio to Record “You Send Me”

– Legendary R&B/soul singer, Sam Cooke, shot to the top of the charts when he released his debut hit single, “You Send Me”.

On June 1, 1957, Sam Cooke recorded a song that would become a major hit in both the soul and pop markets – something he hadn’t yet done. However, at Radio Recorders Inc., an LA-based recording studio, Cooke teamed up with producer Bumps Blackwell and music arranger René Hall to make history.

Up until this point, Sam Cooke had been recording all of his non-gospel records under the name “Dale Cook” to avoid separating from his Christian fan base. However, his voice was entirely too original not to be distinguished from any other and was later given the blessing to record under his preferred alias. The eventual release of “You Send Me” (alongside “Summertime” by George Gershwin) was the first single credited to “Sam Cooke”.

Although, “You Send Me” was the intended B-side on the record, disc jockeys preferred it over “Summertime”. Shortly after its release in September 1957, “You Send Me” spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and three weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart. By December 1957, sales were at an estimated 1.5 million units.

This was the beginning of a bright career for Sam Cooke, and today he is commonly known as the “King of Soul”. In fact, has even been credited with being the inventor of the entire soul music genre due to his organically velvety vocals and organically smooth delivery.


Written by DJ Robinson

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