Video: Sam Cooke Live From the Harlem Square Club in Overtown

Categories: Throwbacks, Video

"Don't fight it, we gona feel it tonight, ya understand." And with these words Sam Cooke launched into "Feel It" on what would become his "Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963" album, though it wasn't released until 1985, well after his death.

Jerry Wexler, the man who coined the term "Rhythm and Blues" and a partner in Atlantic Records, said of Cooke "The best singer who ever lived, no contest." High compliment from a guy who knew and worked with Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Led Zeppelin.

The Harlem Square Club in Overtown hosted two Sam Cooke shows that day, a matinee for the kids as a dry run, and a later show for the recording. The set featured grittier renditions of his tunes than white America was getting from his records. "Live At The Harlem Square," documents the evolution of his sound and greater acknowledgment of his gospel roots.

Cooke was shot dead by a female hotel manager in Los Angeles in 1964 at the age of 33. His Overtown record stands as testament to his great artistry and ability. Even the liner notes to the album won a Grammy. They were written by the great music historian Peter Guralnick who also, later, wrote a Cooke biography.

Miami and more specifically Overtown's musical history cannot be forgotten; it is integral to the development of American music.

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6 comments
Deen Hasaan Tyler
Deen Hasaan Tyler

For those who are unfamiliar with the richness of Miami's Black History. Thanks for posting this. Shot out to OT!

Sam's Neph
Sam's Neph

"Feel It" was one of Sam's compositions, not Wilson Pickett's, FYI. Regardless, I'm glad that Sam's 1963 concert was recorded live in Miami, despite the fact RCA didn't release it until 22 years later.

Erik Greene Author, �Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective� www.OurUncleSam.com

Porro
Porro

Awesome Sam Cooke-ified version of Wicked Pickett's tune! I had no idea that Overtown had such rich history! Hopefully O-town can rise up to be an artistic hot bed once again!

afrobella
afrobella

Jacob Katel, you're a man of taste. Sam Cooke is amazing and he left this world far too soon.

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Miami New Times wrote about history of OVertown music in 1988 and Tropic also published a decent story about this album circa back then. It was a historical high point for miami, overtown was, before 1965. and this album rules.

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Miami New Times wrote about history of OVertown music in 1988 and Tropic also published a decent story about this album circa back then. It was a historical high point for miami, overtown was, before 1965. and this album rules.

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