♫ A Change Is Gonna Come ♫

Sam CookeThis one was never a #1 hit, maybe some of you have never even heard it before, but in light of today being the one-year anniversary of the terrible tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, I felt this was the most appropriate song to share.  I do hope you will spend the 3 minutes to listen … it is poignant, moving.

The song was inspired by various personal events in Cooke’s life, most prominently an event in which he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and of those around him, and that pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans.

On October 8, 1963, en route to Shreveport, Louisiana, Cooke called ahead to the Holiday Inn North to make reservations for his wife, Barbara, and himself, but when he and his group arrived, the desk clerk glanced nervously and explained there were no vacancies. While his brother Charles protested, Sam was fuming, yelling to see the manager and refusing to leave until he received an answer. His wife nudged him, attempting to calm him down, telling him, “They’ll kill you,” to which he responded, “They ain’t gonna kill me, because I’m Sam Cooke.” When they eventually persuaded Cooke to leave, the group drove away calling out insults and blaring their horns. When they arrived at the Castle Motel on Sprague Street downtown, the police were waiting for them, arresting them for disturbing the peace.

Upon hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black, and was also ashamed he had not yet written something like that himself. However, his image and fears of losing his largely white fan base prevented him from doing so. Cooke loved the song so much it was immediately incorporated into his repertoire.

Many others, including Aaron Neville and Patti LaBelle have recorded this song, but … well, it belongs to Sam Cooke, so without further ado …

13 thoughts on “♫ A Change Is Gonna Come ♫

  1. Dear Jill and friends,

    Sam Cooke’s song, “A Change Is Gonna Come” ought to be the Democratic Party’ theme song for the November 2018 elections’ season.” This might depress the White vote as this change is going to come, whether they want this or not. It’s only a matter of time.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!!! I echo your thoughts and hopes that Mueller can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump & Co engineered his election and thereby he is an illegitimate president! And Thank YOU for such kind words, my friend!

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  2. The perfect song for this day by Sam Cooke, the King of Soul! If I remember correctly, this was released posthumously as a single. It rightly became one of the many Civil Rights Movement songs. It was also recorded by many other singers. One was The Supremes tribute album, “We Remember Sam Cooke” with a young Diana Ross’s solo of this song. Even the Righteous Brothers had it on one of their 60’s albums. You are correct though, Sam Cooke owns song. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was actually released on his album “Ain’t That Good News” in March 1964, and he was killed in December 1964. But you are correct, that the single was released on December 22nd, 11 days after Cooke was killed. You must have a photographic memory, for it always serves you right! Some of the other renditions are exceptional, but … I just always prefer to hear Sam sing it himself … it is so steeped in history and in meaning.

      Tell Benjamin I remembered both his juice AND donuts this morning!!! 😊

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  3. Jill, Sam Cooke’s was appropriately cautious. Even if you were famous, in the Jim Crow era, a Black entertainer was at risk. I am reminded that Jesse Owens was going to a banquet in his honor after the 1936 Olympics and had to ride up the service elevator at the NYC hotel. I am reminded that Harry Belafonte took a lot of grief for a multi-racial dance troupe and for touching Petula Clark on his late 1960s TV show.

    Things are far better today, but some have felt they can show their worse side out in public. KKK folks used to hide, but now they are empowered by a racist President,

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Like this version, thanks for sharing!… yes, change is indeed coming in spite of the doubting Thomases… 🙂

    “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy

    Liked by 1 person

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