Proceeding Otis by two years and 364 days, Sam Cooke was shot and killed on this day in 1964. Much controversy still surrounds his death, but his legacy is untouchable and influence sweeping. From gospel to pop, he did it all. You Send Me, Ain't That Good News, Cupid, Chain Gang, and Bring it on Home to Me were some of his biggest hits and (along with Ray's work) the early foundations of soul; but it was one song, inspired by a white boy's passion, that gave a posthumous voice to a broken nation. Today and forever, Sam Cooke is yours, he'll never grow old.
Try a Little Tenderness. Otis Redding owns the song, but it's had an interesting history. Ruth Etting, Bing Crosby [mp3], and Ted Lewis [Windows Media] recorded the song (with more lyrics) in the early '30s. An instrumental version was the opening theme for Dr. Strangelove. Tennessee Ernie Ford did the song on his variety show. And then there was Jack Webb's deadpan Dragnet-style version [Amazon sample].
Lou Rawls dies You'll never find... A "velvety baritone" like Lou Rawls, who died Friday of lung cancer at Cedars-Sinai in LA. He moved with his mother from Chicago in the 1950s, was a friend of Sam Cooke, and sang the National Anthem at Game 2 of the 2005 World Series in Chicago. Rawls sang with Sam Cooke, was awarded three Grammys, sold one platinum and five gold albums. He said: There are no limits to music, so why should I limit myself?"