Always Cooke-ing

Remember the second-hand bin in your favorite record store? You would wonder in and rummage through artists you never heard of. You then take a chance, buy an album and bring it home. Or, while waiting for your preferred mode of transportation, unwrap a cassette and insert it in your walkman. Then you get that feeling – it’s as if you stole something and have no regrets about it. Now that you can download music from anywhere at anytime for next to nothing, you can feel that thrill whenever you want.

In this case, try the latest compilation of Sam Cooke’s music. The appropriately titled “Portrait of a Legend” showcases the immeasurable talents of a musical magician. Cooke could make you feel a myriad of emotions out of the most mundane of experiences. With his distinct vocals you know you’re about to feel something amazing.

What’s more you’ve heard Cooke before. His music (“Cupid,” “Wonderful World,” “Twistin’ the Night Away”) have all been featured on various soundtracks from iconic films (“Animal House,” “Witness”) over several decades – showing just how timeless Cooke’s sound is. Then there are the remakes. James Taylor does a respectable rendition of “Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha” however it lacks the soulful storytelling nature of the original. That said you can find all these recordings on this one album.

There will also be new favorites. “Chain Gang” and the crossover hit “Touch the Hem of His Garment” shows Cooke’s appeal as not only a pop-artist, but a man with a message.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 592 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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