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Keep Movin' On

Keep Movin' On

by Sam Cooke

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Sam Cooke's visionary take on pop and soul blazed a path for equally talented acolytes Otis Redding and Al Green. At the time of his violent death in 1964, Cooke was transitioning from a sophisticated pop crooner to a more socially conscious artist, using more complex arrangements and delving into deeper subject


Sam Cooke's visionary take on pop and soul blazed a path for equally talented acolytes Otis Redding and Al Green. At the time of his violent death in 1964, Cooke was transitioning from a sophisticated pop crooner to a more socially conscious artist, using more complex arrangements and delving into deeper subject matter, such as the civil rights movement. Recorded at a point when the late vocalist had fought for and won total control over his artistic output, the 23-track Keep Movin' On consists of Cooke's last sessions, most of which are available on other collections, along with a pair of previously unreleased cuts. Much-loved classics such as the thumping "Shake" and the sweet shuffle "Another Saturday Night" share space with more lighthearted fare like a chugging cover of Patti Page's "Tennessee Waltz" and the snappy, Dixieland-flavored "Cousin of Mine." While Cooke effortlessly churned out upbeat numbers, it's soul-stirring gospel songs like "That's Where It's At" and "(Somebody) Ease My Troublin' Mind" that reveal the depth and power of his voice. Glaringly absent from the otherwise stellar four-disc Cooke box set, The Man Who Invented Soul, but thankfully included on this collection is Cooke's greatest achievement and legacy -- the gorgeous "A Change Is Gonna Come," a lushly orchestrated civil rights anthem written in response to Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind." Rounding out the set, the previously unreleased and more pop-oriented title track and "I'm Just a Country Boy" hint at the great heights Sam Cooke might have achieved had fate not intervened.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
This 23-song rarities compilation stands in Sam Cooke's output roughly where the four posthumous LPs released by Otis Redding stand in his catalog, with the major difference that Cooke's work included far fewer leftovers and sides that were justified simply by being available -- he seemed to throw a special effort into almost everything that ever recorded, and that goes double for this disc's content, which encompasses the final year of his recording career. This was a period in which he explored several promising musical directions and broke through both to an extraordinarily sophisticated synthesis of his gospel roots with topical songwriting within a pop context. Listeners won't find his most popular songs -- "You Send Me," "Chain Gang," "Only Sixteen," etc. -- here, a result of the split control of his catalog between RCA and ABKCO, but they will find his most important and influential songs. Cooke was inactive in the studio for a significant chunk of 1963, following the drowning death of his infant son, and when he resumed work late in the year it was under a new contract that was to ultimately give control and ownership of his recordings to him (or, as events worked out, his manager, Allen Klein). Represented here is his foray into a New Orleans sound, on "Basin Street Blues" etc., which he'd never explored before (and which he shaped his own way) as well as his poignant recording of "The Riddle Song," which was a way of his coming to terms musically with the death of his son; and "Good Times," the somber-toned party song of Cooke's that the Rolling Stones chose to cover, and the equally pensive and compelling "Another Saturday Night," a relic of the first half of 1963 that fits equally well with this later material. On any other R&B collection, all of those tracks would be perceived as extraordinarily fine records, but Cooke himself raised the bar so high during the final months of his career, that they pale next to the most important of his songs: "Shake," which embodied a harder, more visceral soul sound than Cooke had ever embraced before; and "A Change Is Gonna Come." The latter, written by Cooke in the wake of his hearing Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," seemed to tie up his origins as a gospel singer with all that he had learned and experienced in the ensuing decade and, channeled through the topical subject of civil rights, became his greatest musical achievement -- not his biggest hit, or his best known song even today, but his most accomplished piece of composition, singing, and recording. Cooke never had a chance to follow up either, and died before he could even assess the impact of either song -- ironically, it was Otis Redding (who died almost three years later to the day) that took them into his repertory most successfully; so this disc not only brings us to the final, magnificent phase of Cooke's career, but also shows the door that he opened for Otis Redding and others. Keep Movin' On should probably not be the only Sam Cooke compilation that a neophyte fan should buy, mostly because it covers only his late career and leaves out a lot of essential material, but it is an absolutely essential companion (along with the Harlem Square Club live set) to his finest compilation, Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964, or the box set Man Who Invented Soul, finishing the story that they start. Most of what's here had never been available digitally before, and even the tracks that had are improved so significantly in the quality of their transfer, that they're like new releases.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sam Cooke   Primary Artist
Glen Campbell   Guitar
Lincoln Mayorga   Piano,Celeste
Bobby Womack   Guitar
Frank Capp   Percussion
Plas Johnson   Saxophone
Barney Kessel   Guitar
Harold Land   Saxophone
Gerald Wilson   Trumpet
Lou Blackburn   Trombone
Buddy Clark   Bass
Israel Baker   Violin
Hal Blaine   Drums
Robert Barene   Violin
Harold Battiste   Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Saxophone
Arnold Belnick   Violin
Milt Bernhart   Trombone
Harry Betts   Trombone
Louise Blackburn   Trombone
James E. Bond   Bass,Upright Bass
John Boudreaux   Percussion,Drums
Robert Bryant   Trumpet,Drums
Harper Cosby   Bass,Upright Bass
Leroy Crume   Guitar
Frank DeVito   Percussion,Drums
John DeVoogdt   Strings,Violin
James A. Decker   French Horn
Jesse Ehrlich   Cello
Sticks Evans   Percussion,Bongos
Albert "Gentleman June" Gardner   Drums
Jewell L. Grant   Saxophone
William Green   Clarinet,Flute,Saxophone
Rene Hall   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Conductor,Leader
Jimmie Haskell   Conductor,Leader
Howard Roberts   Guitar
Harry Hyams   Viola
Raymond Johnson   Piano
William Kurash   Violin
Melvin Lastie   Piano,Trombone,Trumpet,Saxophone
Arthur Maebe   French Horn
Leonard Malarsky   Violin
Vito Mangano   Trumpet
Alexander Neiman   Strings,Viola
Earl Palmer   Drums
Jack Pepper   Violin
John Pisano   Guitar
Ray Pohlman   Bass,Piano
Emil Radocchia   Percussion,Marimbas,Timpani
Allan Reuss   Guitar
John Rotella   Saxophone,Musician
Emmet Sargeant   Violin,Cello
Ralph Schaeffer   Strings,Violin
Darrel Terwilliger   Violin
Alvin "Red" Tyler   Saxophone
Dave Wells   Trombone
Clifton White   Guitar,Strings,Conductor,Leader
Cecil Womack   Guitar
Tibor Zelig   Strings,Violin
William Hinshaw   Horn,French Horn
Anthony Terran   Trumpet
Joseph R. Gibbons   Trombone
Irving Lipschultz   Violin
James M. McGee   French Horn
David Pell   Saxophone
Johnny Halliburton   Trombone
Joe Hooven   Leader
Ambrose Russo   Violin,Musician
Red Tyler   Saxophone
John Anderson   Trumpet
Sidney Sharp   Violin
Jake "Vernon" Porter   Trombone
Chuck Badie   Bass
Howard Roberts   Guitar
Eddie Hall   Drums
Peter Badie   Bass
John Ewing   Trombone
Russell Bridges   Piano
Clifford Hils   Bass
Norman Bartold   Guitar
Linwood Mitchell   Percussion
Jack Preisner   Trumpet
Edgar Redmond   Saxophone
Eddie Tilman   Bass
Ernie Tack   Trombone,Musician

Technical Credits

Sam Cooke   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Original Album Producer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Luigi Creatore   Producer,Original Album Producer
Peter Guralnick   Essay
Ray Hall   Engineer
Rene Hall   Arranger
Jimmie Haskell   Arranger
David Hassinger   Engineer
Bones Howe   Engineer
Iris Keitel   Art Direction
Hugo Peretti   Producer,Original Album Producer
Schmitt   Producer,Original Album Producer
Clifton White   Arranger
James Alexander   Composer
Joe Hooven   Arranger
Gus Skinas   Engineer
Alisa Ritz   Art Direction
Lenne Allik   Executive Producer
Larraine Walton   Audio Production Director
Angelo Tillery   Cover Illustration
Dick Bogart   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Teri Landi   Producer
Marshall Barer   Composer
Jody H. Klein   Producer

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