Category: Sam Cooke

  • Pastoral Scene of the Gallant South

    Content warning: graphic images of racial violence. “Strange Fruit” was written by a longtime English teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, Abel Meeropol in 1937 (shown above with his sons Robert and Michael, the biological children of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, whom Abel and his wife adopted after the Rosenbergs’ execution). The […]

  • A First-Stream Rhythm and Blues Primer

    Handbill distributed by the Citizens’ Council of New Orleans, one of many such groups opposed to integration. Early rhythm and blues was essentially what its name says: an uptempo version of the blues, with a strong emphasis on the kind of driving, propulsive beat popularized by jazz. It was marketed to black urban record-buyers as […]

  • Soul and Sacrament

    (Pentecostal church service.) According to Peter Guralnick: Southern soul music developed out of a time and a set of social circumstances that are unlikely to be repeated. . . when I speak of soul music, I am not referring to Motown, a phenomenon almost exactly contemporaneous but appealing far more to a pop, white, and […]