Soul singer Sam Cooke gets Chicago honorary street

June 18, 2011

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On Saturday Chicago's roster of honorary streets will grow with the addition of one that recognizes Sam Cooke, a pioneer of soul music. The new designation includes a stretch of  36th and Cottage Grove, a corner just a block south of where the soul singer once lived. Cooke also attended elementary and high school nearby. 

"We’re talking about Sam Cooke and this is what put Chicago on the map," said Gregg Parker, founder of the Chicago Blues Museum. He’s been pushing for Sam Cooke to be honored because American soul artists, as well as English musicians who came across the pond, owe a musical debt   to Cooke.

"It was just unfortunate that he didn’t live long enough and we have to start showing and reflecting the history of these great artists out of Chicago," Parker said. Cooke died in 1964.

Cooke was known for crooning “You Send Me” and the politically charged "A Change Is Gonna Come." He was also one of the first black performers to delve into the business side of music.

 

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