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On Sale Today: Sam Cooke’s LP “Ain’t That Good News”

Feb. 10, 1964 - On sale today is “Ain’t That Good News,” the 11th long-playing album from singer-songwriter Sam Cooke. With the exception of “Another Saturday Night,” which was released as a single in April of last year, “Ain’t That Good News” contains the first material Cooke recorded in the six months following the death of his 18-month-old son Vincent, who drowned in the family swimming pool. It is also the first album Cooke recorded and released under his new contract with RCA.

A record that features one side of harder soul numbers and another of mellower ballads — much like Ray Charles’s “Modern Sounds” records — “Ain’t That Good News” reflects Cooke's greater freedom in choosing material and sidemen. One of the record’s most powerful songs, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” was inspired by various events in Cooke’s life, most prominently when he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana.


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