Books by Bob
It's always good to catch up on some of the classic albums of the pop-rock era, but these albums will be especially good companions during the coronavirus crisis. We'll put up a new classic album each week, reaching into different musical genres and picked from different eras.
Sam Cooke - Live in the Harlem Square Club
Blessed with movie-star good looks and a great voice with almost choir-boy purity, Sam Cooke wrote and/or recorded more Top 40 hits (29) than Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard combined, yet many pop fans were surprised in 1986 when he was one of the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That's because lots of those early hits were tame by early rock standards. For every soulful "You Send Me," there was "Everybody Wants to Cha Cha Cha" and "Cupid." Cooke turned out those pale pop ditties because he (and his record company) wanted to appeal to mainstream white pop fans, not just Black R&B ones. He even played the famous Copa night club in New York in 1964, complete with a cane and top hat, singing pop hits such as "Mona Lisa" and "Hey There."