Sam Cooke

Cooke in 1963
Cooke in Billboard, 1965, released posthumously
Grave of Sam Cooke in the Garden of Honor at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California

American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.

- Sam Cooke

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Bobby Womack

American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer.

Womack performing with Gorillaz in Denmark, 2010.

Starting in the early 1950s as the lead singer of his family musical group the Valentinos and as Sam Cooke's backing guitarist, Womack's career spanned more than 60 years and multiple styles, including R&B, jazz, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, and gospel.

Billy Preston

American musician, whose work encompassed R&B, rock, soul, funk, and gospel.

Preston at the White House in December 1974
Preston singing at the piano in 1971
Preston (seated behind grand piano in foreground) performing with the Rolling Stones in 1975

Preston was a top session keyboardist in the 1960s, during which he backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, the Everly Brothers, Reverend James Cleveland, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Bring It On Home to Me

"Bring It On Home to Me" is a song by American soul singer Sam Cooke, released on May 8, 1962, by RCA Victor.

Wonderful World (Sam Cooke song)

One of side-A labels of the 1960 US single

"Wonderful World" (occasionally referred to as "(What A) Wonderful World") is a song by American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke.

Lou Rawls

American record producer, singer, composer and actor.

Rawls in 1995
Rawls performing with Frank Gorshin in 1977
Lou Rawls (right) at Baltimore's Inner Harbor (1980) being interviewed by local news anchor Curt Anderson, promoting the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon
Lou Rawls's tomb at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)

He began singing in the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church choir at the age of seven and later sang with local groups through which he met Sam Cooke, who was nearly three years older, and Curtis Mayfield.

Cupid (Sam Cooke song)

"Cupid" is a song by American singer Sam Cooke, released on May 16, 1961.

Nat King Cole

American singer, jazz pianist, songwriter, and actor.

Nat King Cole, 1959
Nat King Cole, Paramount Theater, New York City, November 1946
King Cole Trio Time on NBC with Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Johnny Miller on double bass, 1947
Capitol Records Building, known as "The House That Nat Built" on Vine St.
Cole and his second wife, Maria, 1951
Bust of Nat King Cole in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Cole's vault at Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Cole's birthplace on the campus of Alabama State University in Montgomery

The Cole family moved to the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, where he attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School, the school Sam Cooke attended a few years later.

Al Green

American singer, songwriter, pastor and record producer best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s, including "Take Me to the River", "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still in Love with You", "Love and Happiness", and his signature song, "Let's Stay Together".

Green in 2001
Green in an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show in 1973
Green performing at the Sonoma Jazz festival, May 23, 2008

Having noted that Green had been trying to sing like Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown, Mitchell became his vocal mentor, coaching him into finding his own voice.

Soul music

Popular music genre that originated in the African American community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Al Green (1973), one of the genre's major pioneering artists
Ray Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles
James Brown was known as the "Godfather of Soul"
Sam Cooke is acknowledged as one of soul music's "forefathers".
Solomon Burke recorded for Atlantic in the 1960s
Aretha Franklin is widely known as the "Queen of Soul"
Marvin Gaye shifted to a soul sound with his 1971 hit "What's Going On"
Levi Stubbs singing lead with the Four Tops in 1966
Soul singer Otis Redding was an electrifying stage presence
Isaac Hayes performing in 1973
Adele performing in 2016

Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also are often acknowledged as soul forefathers.

The Soul Stirrers

American gospel music group, whose career spans over eighty years.

Philip Paul Bliss

He was briefly replaced on lead by Paul Foster, then by Sam Cooke.