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LC Cooke


LC Cooke
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The younger brother of Sam Cooke, L.C. Cook was also a singer, although he achieved his greatest prominence on paper, as a songwriter, thanks to his more famous brother’s tangled contractual relationships. L.C. Cook (the “e” being absent from the family’s spelling of the name) was born two years after Sam, the fifth of ten children of the Rev. Charles Cook and his wife Annie May. The entire family was musical, steeped in gospel, and while Sam was the most obvious potential star, L.C. was also a budding singer while still a young boy. In the late ’30s, Sam organized a group called the Singing Children with two of his sisters, which L.C. later joined to make a gospel quartet. The two sang together in the family quintet the Singing Children, and later in the Nobleairs, and achieved some success together in the late ’40s as members of the Highway Q.C.’s. They stopped singing together when L.C.’s older brother was recruited into the ranks of the Soul Stirrers in 1951.

In 1956, Cook joined the Chicago-based RB vocal group the Magnificents, which had been formed by Johnny Keyes not much more than a year earlier. At the time, the Magnificents recorded for Vee-Jay Records and were enjoying huge success with their half-million selling single “Up on the Mountain.” Cook also began recording, cutting the single “I Need Your Love” for Chess Records. In 1960, he signed with his brother’s newly-formed SAR Records label.

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