On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Sam Cooke – You Send Me (1957)
We’re extending our stay in the US and are taking in a bit of soul today. In fact this artist is known as the King of Soul and rose to prominence in the late 1950s. He is, of course, Sam Cooke and the song for this 1001 list is his debut, You Send Me. Cooke wrote the song himself though for legal reasons it was credited to his brother. It made little difference as the song was a chart topper and set Cooke on his way to stardom.
You Send Me is a love song with Cooke singing of his powerful feelings for a woman and how they have grown stronger over time. The woman in question makes him have a plethora of emotions. She “sends” him, “thrills” him and being near her makes him feel amazing. Cooke sings of how he thought these feelings were an infatuation but they have not receded, only grown, and now he wants to marry her.
Sam Cooke sings this one beautifully, showcasing that great voice that would result in more hits in the years that followed such as Cupid and Chain Gang. However, Cooke’s career would come to an end in 1964 when he was killed at a motel by the manager who shot him in the chest. The incident was ruled as a justifiable homicide but to this day it remains shrouded in controversy with some believing Cooke to be a victim. What isn’t in dispute is the King of Soul’s musical legacy.
Favourite songs so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)