#58: Sam Cooke ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’

sam_cooke_mic.jpg If there was ever an anthem for the times that we are living in now, it is Sam Cooke‘s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Although the song exemplified the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, with the possibility of the next President of the United States being either a Black man or a woman, it is quite applicable to today. When Cooke recorded the song in 1963 he probably didn’t–and couldn’t–envision this world, but here we are. A change is definitely happening.

Considered one of the founding fathers of modern soul music, Cooke wrote and recorded “A Change Is Gonna Come” after hearing Bob Dylan‘s protest song “Blowin’ in the Wind” and as a response to the racism and discrimination that he faced everyday. The song’s orchestration matched the drama of the lyrics that he wrapped his gospel trained vocals so effortlessly around. It’s unfathomable that this song didn’t chart any higher than #9 on the R&B tally and fared even worse on the Pop Top 40 by stalling at #31. However, in the decades since its release it has been considered an American classic. A laundry list of performers have done covers of the tune, but, quite honestly, no one can touch the raw emotion and passion of Sam’s original.

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Sam Cooke: “A Change Is Gonna Come”

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