Another Saturday Night


Saturday night and Sunday morning – that’s the battle that brings the blues to life. Those Delta crossroads could leave you wondering which way to go – the Devil’s music always sounds good late at night, but come the clear light and you’ll know you missed the path to glory.

It’s a battle that started before the blues and hasn’t been settled yet. Last week we listened to Rosetta Tharpe, who lived on the border between gospel and the blues, and we’ve been talking about Sam Cooke, who pitched his tent on the Saturday night side of the line early on.

Here’s a sample of the young Sam Cooke, who replaced the legendary R. H. Harris as lead singer of the Soul Stirrers when he was only 19. Sam left gospel six years later for a lucrative pop career, and died tragically at the age of 33. For more on his post-gospel work, look here: Rolling Stone magazine has just named him the 4th best singer of all time, and Van Morrison tells you why that’s a pretty good pick – lots of music, too.


One Response to “Another Saturday Night”

  1. Sam's Neph Says:

    I’ve heard a lot of bickering about who should be placed where on Rolling Stone’s list, but I haven’t heard one complaint about Sam being placed too high. I think the preservation of his gospel works helped solidify what a lot of us already knew–his singing voice ranks right up there with the best of them.

    Great entry, Harry.

    Erik Greene
    Author, “Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family’s Perspective”

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