Cooke-ing Up Digital Releases

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — To celebrate what would have been Sam Cooke's 80th birthday, four of his albums are being released for download.

Had he lived past the age of 33, Sam Cooke would have been 80 on January 22, 2011.

Albums, Sam Cooke at the Copa, Keep Movin' On, Ain't That Good News, and Portrait of a Legent 1951-1964 will be released for digital download in recognition of the songwriter.

In 1986, 25 years after his passing, Cooke was among the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, alongside Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly.  His transition from gospel music to R&B and rock ‘n’ roll was the template followed by soul/urban performers for the past 60 years.

Cooke’s songwriting has been reflected through music's evolution with versions of his classic repertoire performed and released over the years by such notable artists as John Lennon, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Seal, The Animals, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Bobby Womack, and R. Kelly among others.

Known as "the man who invented soul," many artists still have much to praise him for.

Aretha Franklin noted, “Sam was a singer’s singer who strongly influenced many male vocalists.  He was loved, respected and revered by artists in the pop and gospel field of music, as well as by his audience, as a unique and extraordinary artist and human being.” 

“Sam Cooke is somebody other singers have to measure themselves against, and most of them go back to pumping gas!” quipped Keith Richards.

— Crystal Lynn Huntoon

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