Tag Archive | Sam Cooke

Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do

January 22, 1931 Happy Birthday Sam Cooke!

day 290

I love Sam Cooke and sing his material all the time.  When I saw it was his birthday today I looked through a list of all the songs he’d recorded and chose Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness!  And then I had to wikipedia the song because I always thought it was Taint Nobody’s… and then there was the business or bizness or biz-ness discrepancy in the title.  Well apparently its been titled several different ways!  so confusing.

I actually wanted to sing A Change is Gonna Come but this darn laryngitis is kicking my butt and I had to pick an easier song.

hey, so I’m at the Red Lion tonight with the Stingers.  It’s 19 degrees out at the moment so I think coming on in from the cold into the best bar on Bleecker Street would be a good idea.  We start around 10.  See you there!


Little Red Rooster

September 2, 1964, The Rolling Stones recorded their version of the Willie Dixon song Little Red Rooster. (via thisdayinmusic.com)


day 149

Back to the blues again. Every great band does blues covers.  The Stones covered many blues but had a hit with this one – it went to #1 on the UK singles chart and was the only blues to hit #1 on the UK pop charts.

The funny thing is Dylan and I and my best bud John Malino went to see Johnny Winter a couple of weeks ago, and Johnny Winter, the legendary blues guitarist covered STONES songs.  He did an extented jam on Jumping Jack Flash with Rick Derringer and then did Beast of Burden — so there you have it, it all comes around full circle.

I listened to a lot of versions of this song today.  I like the Big Mama Thornton version of Red Rooster best.  Sam Cooke also covered it but in a soul version.

Well, Claudia and I are in the Poconos with my in-laws and just came back from one of those restaurants up here where the size of each entree is big enough for a small army, so needless to say I am sitting here writing in a food coma.

Which reminds me of when I used to go upstate — not too far from the Poconos. I think the town was Ellenville. My friend Joey Amico and his 4 brothers had a great lake house and their mom Mildred was a well known chef at that time, and at every meal there was a sauce or a gravy or a dip to go with everything you ate. I guess she was a sauce kinda cook. Well I thought that was brilliant and still do. But I remember always being stuffed after every one of her meals!

Those trips upstate were great. We’d go on extended bike rides in the country on the roads, no helmets, we would ride alongside cars and not think twice. No cell phones. I think we each had less than a couple dollars in our pockets and we rode in bathing suits in case we came to another lake or waterfall. And the only rule we had was to make it back for dinner. We were fearless as kids.  We never wore sunscreen and I remember being crippled with sunburn at times but we always made it back for Mildred’s saucy meals.

I don’t know why I’m talking about food. I’m stuffed.

Oh jeez, Claudia just brought out pudding.

She’s trying to kill me.

All right. I like pudding.

Anyway, Little Red Rooster coming up right below for Today in Music!

Nothing Can Change This Love

June 24, 1964 Sam Cooke begins a famous two-week booking at New York’s Copacabana that would come to define the beginning of “supper-club soul.” (via about.com)

all good

Today is Claudia’s and my 28th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary my beautiful wife.  I am so lucky to have you in my life.  I have been married (shy of a year) half of my life!

Claudia and I were best friends for years before that one day we both realized that that we were supposed to be together. We each had our own studio apartment on 57th Street.  I was on 8th ave and she was on 3rd ave and we would do that walk back and forth two or three times a day and we realized we should get an apartment together.

Our first apartment was on East 76th Street.  It had a nice big quiet terrace in the back.

Our second apartment was on 77th between York and the river looking into the schoolyard.  Claudia loved that apartment in a landmark building. Very soulful.

Our third apartment was a one bedroom in a high rise on 93rd and 1st ave which is where Casey and Dylan were born. It started getting a little cramped so Claudia walked around the neighborhood looking for a apartment with a backyard and here we’ve been for twenty one years in this apartment, raising our kids,  writing our music, with all our pets —  dogs, cats, iguana, turtles and a hedgehog!

Sorry to be giving you my personal background but if you were here I’d make you all watch all the kids’ birthday videos and then watch our wedding video. You’d probably make an excuse that you had to leave once I started bringing out the family christmas videos but hey that’s the way we roll.

Nothing Can Change this Love – Sam Cooke my idol.

Nothing can change this love, Claudia my wife.

Tracks of My Tears / What a Wonderful World

June 23, 1965: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ The Tracks Of My Tears released.

with the boy

It’s a really great day.  Love having my son Casey home with me at the piano.  And love having my son Dylan right next to me playing bass at this gig out in the Hamptons tonight.

Thinking about all the plays and concerts we went to see the boys in.  From playing trees and elephants in pre-K to meatier roles such as squirrels and ancient egyptians in grade school.  And the concerts – so many of them, years & years worth.  I’m gonna come clean now and admit it.  I slept through all the other kids’ songs.  I apologize to all the parents and I forgive you all for sleeping during my kids’ parts.  I always woke up to cheer my boys on.  We lived for those moments!

I’m the worst at a kid’s concert.  Casey remembers seeing me in the audience with my head in my hands  and Claudia would always tell me not to make faces. It was hard not to.  Thinking about it though, all the kids were great, and even though I might be moaning and groaning and snoring, I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it for the world.

Loved Casey singing in his Dad’s wheelhouse this morning.  Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Sam Cooke.  Casey rocked it!


You Send Me

June 1, 1957 Sam Cooke was recording You Send Me.

my hat

Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers — four guys singing gospel with a good old soul band.  That’s where I live!  Sam Cooke singing A Change is Gonna Come is what made me want to be a singer.

I remember the first time I went for a voice lesson with Marlon Saunders, the most amazing voice teacher, singer, guru.  I told him I wanted to sing like Sam Cooke and he said, “Let’s learn how to sing like Skip first.”

No matter what I’m singing – covers or originals, Marlon always shows me how find an original approach.  Marlon knows it all! Marlon Saunders is the only voice teacher I recommend to anyone now.  Check out his new lyric video, Beautiful Design.

You Send Me is usually the first slow dance of the night at Stingers parties.  All the couples get up and dance to it, and lots of brides like to use it as their wedding song.

I was glad to have an excuse to sing it tonight!

You Send Me!