Sam Cooke: Song Analysis

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Before Motown, Sam Cooke took the spirit of the black church transformed it into another sound. Cooke the son of a Chicago minister, started his career as a gospel singer, but later became a crossover soul, pop, RnB singer. (Guralnick, 2005) Written on December 1964 a change is gonna come was written by Sam Cooke it was inspired by an incident at a ‘whites only Motel’ in which Cooke his wife and entourage were refused entry. (Guralnick, 2005) The song later became an anthem for the civil rights movement in America. From 1896-1960 the Jim crow laws enforced segregation amongst the black and white races. (, 2015) Businesses and public intuitions were forbidden to allow the mixing of races in their establishments these laws were enforced across different states and city’s in the US. Cooke’s father, a preacher had lived through the Jim Crow laws, he had worked in the cotton fields and…show more content…
I should have written a song like this.” Sam Cooke (Guralnick, 2005) The music of the time reflected what was going on. A lot of protest songs like Bob Dylan’s blowing in the wind (A song that Sam had covered) were being sung out of frustration. The lyrics to Blowing in the wind meant a lot to Cooke. He felt they could have been sung about racial injustice amongst his people, he was so taken back that a white person had wrote it that he actually felt ashamed he had not done something similar. This and the incident in the motel where he and his entourage were refused entry was what I believe sparked Cooke to put pen to paper and write his own song. On January 30, 1964 Cooke recorded “A change is gonna come” it took him nearly a month to perfect it. The song has a very eerie feeling to it. A close friend of Sam’s Bobby Womack once remarked that it sounded and felt almost like death. (Guralnick,

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