Sam Cooke, wrote and released his song, “ You Send Me” in 1957 through Keen Records. The record was produced by Bumps Blackwell and arranged and conducted by René Hall. You Send Me was a massive hit, and has since received numerous covers over the years.
Cooke’s pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the work of Otis Redding and James Brown.
AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was “the inventor of soul music”, and possessed “an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed”.
Cooke was also a central part of the civil rights movement, using his influence and popularity with the white and black population to fight for the cause.
He was good friends with boxer Muhammad Ali, activist Malcolm X and football player Jim Brown, who together campaigned for racial equality.