On July 22, 1955, Sam Cooke took the stage at Los Angeles’s Shrine Auditorium. He was 24 years old. He sang that day with the Soul Stirrers, the gospel group he joined—as the new lead singer—when he was 19.
Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers, “Nearer My God To Thee,” live, 1955, Los Angeles
Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers, “Be With Me Jesus,” live, 1955, Los Angeles
Sam [Cooke] was shaped in large measure by the Soul Stirrers during their rehearsals. He reacted to them as they pushed him, like a good rhythm section inspires an instrumentalist.—Art Rupe (in Peter Guralnick, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke )
Of course, Sam did his best work in gospel. How you gonna take somebody who loves what he’s doing and turn him around and put him in something unfamiliar and he’s gonna be as free and natural as he was at home?—Dorothy Love Coates (in Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times )
How astonishing to see, yesterday, for the first time, a film snippet (the only known to exist) of Anne Frank.
This apparently dates from 1941, when Anne was 13. The couple walking out of the building are newlyweds—the woman’s a neighbor. That’s Anne leaning out the window.
Yesterday I also heard this episode of the radio show “This American Life,” which features people whose lives were changed by books.
Also yesterday (big day), while driving around doing this and that, I heard bits and pieces of this interview with the great Nick Hornby (author of, among other things, High Fidelity).