Customer Reviews


31 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable resource to the musician fan of Sam
There are a couple of reviews included here that criticize Wolff's (et al) biography of Sam Cooke. However, I couldn't have been more pleased with it!
As a musician/songwriter/singer, myself, "You Send Me" provided exactly the type of information I wanted to learn about my beloved Sam: how he composed, recorded, released and performed his music. I also enjoyed...
Published on December 2, 2002 by lysaparker

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Send Me
The question of the day is: can someone who leaves this world early in their years possibly have lived a full life? Without getting too philosophical, this question often haunts us when we attempt to examine the lives of many great entertainers who transcended their craft but clearly died before their time.
The mysteries surrounding the death of Sam Cooke will never...
Published on May 12, 2002 by Ken Reed


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable resource to the musician fan of Sam, December 2, 2002
By 
"lysaparker" (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
There are a couple of reviews included here that criticize Wolff's (et al) biography of Sam Cooke. However, I couldn't have been more pleased with it!
As a musician/songwriter/singer, myself, "You Send Me" provided exactly the type of information I wanted to learn about my beloved Sam: how he composed, recorded, released and performed his music. I also enjoyed learning about Sam's background in Clarksdale and Chicago as well as the exhaustive research regarding his time with the QCs and the inimitable Soul Stirrers. My favorite aspect of "You Send Me" is the detail regarding the recording of each song -- Wolff described the musicians on the session, the producers, arrangers and record company personnel - how many takes - how they achieved some of the interesting sounds, etc. But, reading the line-by-line synopsis of "A Change Is Gonna Come" is what really knocked me out. For the first time, I realized that in the first line of the song ("I was born by the river in a little tent"), Sam was referring to being saved in his father's Holiness revival tents down by the river - the line finally made sense to me, after all these years. It took me a good hour to finish those 2 pages - my favorite Sam Cooke song -- I wanted to savor every word.
The info provided by Crain, White, Tenenbaum and Sam's former bandmates and label folks is fascinating. Sam's relationship with Barbara, Dee Dee, his children and the other women in his life is his business. I didn't want to delve into Sam's ultra personal life, I wanted to delve into Sam's musical genius and hear a few stories about his gigs, writing, recording and business practices. I wanted to remain a respectful distance away from his family and personal life. Maybe I'm just a true musical fan of his and not a bio reader. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed "You Send Me".
I'd like to thank Mr. Wolff for dedicating a large portion of his career to bringing our Sam back to life for us. Sadly, I have not yet finished the book -- I'm about a dozen pages before Sam dies -- I can't bring myself to read it just yet -- it's too painful. I feel if I linger in early 1964 for a while, I can keep Sam alive a little bit longer...
Lysa Parker
Singer & Songwriter ...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing It On Home, October 10, 2003
By 
DEAN M. Dent (SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
When I first read this book,I was so entranced that I stayed up all night reading.Sam Cooke had long been my musical idol and many stories about him are a) sketchy or ;b)center around the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death.
Granted this book doesn't answer many questions about his cause of death,but it does open up alot of things about his life.It showed a human side to the man behind the voice(fathering many illegitimate children,his shrewed business instincts,the death of his son Vincent,and the heavy drinking before his own death),as well as a detailed account about the genisis of his greatest songs(guitarist Cliff White thought You Send Me was repetitive during the sessions for the song,Wonderful World was a demo which was rushed released by his former record label to cash-in on his RCA success,and A Change Is Gonna Come was inspired by Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind).
You Send Me, like the now deleted Man and His Music CD are essential to any Sam Cooke fan,especially when many of todays music stars could never hold a candle to this talent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sent Me There!, February 5, 2005
This was a well researched and written book. I enjoyed it because it was packed full of history on music industry, the Civil Rights Era and The Man (Sam Cooke). This book sent me there. It was so descriptive, that I felt like I was actually there viewing the events as they unfolded.

I am a Sam Cooke fan, but I did not know much about him. This book provided me with an in-depth look at the man from a personal and professional standpoint. His life was not picture perfect and his death is still surrounded by too much mystery. I appreciate the author revealing such sensitive info and in such a way that it did not tarnish my image of the singer.

This man's life had all the makings for a movie. The book left me not wanting for anything. I walked away full...no questions pending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing It On Home, February 17, 2000
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
When I first read this book,I was so entranced that I stayed up all night reading.Sam Cooke had long been my musical idol and many stories about him are a) sketchy or ;b)center around the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death.Granted this book doesn't answer many questions about his cause of death,but it does open up alot of things about his life.It showed a human side to the man behind the voice(fathering many illegitimate children,his shrewed business instincts,the death of his son Vincent,and the heavy drinking before his own death),as well as a detailed account about the genisis of his greatest songs(guitarist Cliff White thought You Send Me was repetitive during the sessions for the song,Wonderful World was a demo which was rushed released by his former record label to cash-in on his RCA success,and A Change Is Gonna Come was inspired by Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind).You Send Me, like the now deleted Man and His Music CD are essential to any Cooke fan,especially when many of todays music stars could never hold a candle to this talent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Send Me, May 12, 2002
By 
Ken Reed (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
The question of the day is: can someone who leaves this world early in their years possibly have lived a full life? Without getting too philosophical, this question often haunts us when we attempt to examine the lives of many great entertainers who transcended their craft but clearly died before their time.
The mysteries surrounding the death of Sam Cooke will never equal his accomplishments during the short life he lived and the impact he had and continues to have on the music world today. Documented through the eyes of Daniel Wolff with the help of those who knew him best, "You Send Me" provides an accurate chronology of possibly Rock-N-Roll's greatest phenomenon.
I will start by admitting that Sam Cooke is absolutely my favorite singer and that I've looked forward to reading this biography for months. Given this, you might assume that this extreme personal admiration might somewhat cloud the judgement of the average book critic. Not the case Book Circle readers. I approached this book with the utmost objectivity and an open minded attitude.
The first several chapters of "You Send Me" provides an excellent look at the backround of the Cook Family. It provides interesting details of Sam's father Charley and the hardships he faced raising a family in Mississippi's racially charged Delta during the Depression. Charley is painted as a very moral, hard working man who found religion late in life but found his home and his livelihood preaching the gospel. Charley's commitment to the church is what eventually started the gospel singing career of his children who would travel with him to sing at different churches. As opportunities in the church and better job opportunities for working class African Americans became available in the Midwest, the Cooke Family traveled to Chicago where the young Sam Cooke found his true calling.
As Sam grew older he traveled locally with his own group before he was chosen by his mentor to replace the lead in one of gospels most famous groups, The Soul Stirrers.
Throughout, Daniel Wolff provides a detailed timeline of dates and facts that shows an extraordinary research effort. At no time during this read do you feel that the author's accuracy or the truthfulness of any events was in question.
As much as I would like to say to casual readers and non-Sam Cooke Cooke fans that this biography will captivate you and leave you with a great sense of the type of person he was, I unfortunately cannot. "You Send Me" seems to bury itself in so much detail about dates, times and locations that it fails any attempt to explore the personal side of Sam Cooke. It is a safe bet that the type of person who purchases this book would be somewhat interested in what Cooke's personal interests were as well as his personality traits, but the biography served as purely a historical account. The book did get more personal toward the end as it looked at the incidents surrounding his death; unfortunately, I'm not sure many readers will actually make it that far.
If you're writing a paper about "The Life and Times of Sam Cooke" then Daniel Wolff's biography would make a fantastic reference. If you were looking to find out about Sam's moods, thoughts, insights and ideas then you would be better off buying his CD.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God-given talent but all too human, July 26, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
I didn't know Sam Cooke beyond a few of his old hits (I was born in 1971) but picked up this book on the advice of a friend. 'You Send Me' is a fascinating study of the man and his music.
There is stuff in there for everyone... his religious roots... early fame at the helm of the most famous gospel group of his day... the illegitimate children... his tragic marriages... his relationships with Aretha, Lou Rawls and Muhammed Ali... his refusal to play to segregated audiences, blazing the way for integration across the South... spirited, behind-the-scenes stories of his recordings and live performances... his everlasting love of soul and gospel music and how he founded his own label to showcase otherwise overlooked talents. And, of course, his controversial death in a cheap motel and subsequent investigations.
'You Send Me' is a wonderful picture, as well, of the South at the turn of the 20th century, Depression-era Chicago and a teenage America finding a common love of rock and roll.
In the end, the reader is left with a satisfying read as well as a sense of tragedy over a life so filled with potential cut so short by misadventure (he was not yet 34 when he died). I almost cringe to draw this comparison, but like Princess Diana, another charismatic celebrity, Sam Cooke is beloved because despite the glamour, he was altogether too human.
This book stands up to repeated readings. Then, listen to his music. You will smile, because Daniel Wolff will have taken you there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest You Do, January 28, 2007
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
For a long time this was the only available biography on Sam Cooke. Until Peter Guralnick released his excellent 'Dream Boogie' a few years ago.

When I first read 'You Send Me' it openened my eyes to a lot of things; unlike many of his contemperaries, here was someone in complete control of everything he did. Writing his own songs, pretty much producing them himself and above all one of the first black men to own and run his own record-label (SAR).

Of course it starts during his gospel days in which, not known by everyone, for a few years as a member of the Soul Stirrers he was the number 1 soul star around. Maybe not in religious fervor, but certainly with the female part of the church. Later his way with women would haunt him, even leading to his unfortunate death at age 33.

The book is well researched, provides nice insights into the songs and into his mind as well. His constant veering between wanting to play music for white and black, but always staying himself.

This is a great introduction to the man who 'created soul' and a must for every soul lover.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, But Thought Provoking, Heartbreaking Biography, June 1, 2006
By 
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke is a very good rendering of the life of the classic gospel/R&B/pop superstar whose life was tragically cut short with his death in 1964.

Here you get to see the talented, complex, and at times, troubled singer throught his beginnings singing with the Soul Stirrers, through his skillful crafting of his own solo career, and ending with the ongoing mystery surrounding his death in a flophouse motel at the hands of a woman who may have had other motives for killing Cooke besides self-defense.

The only problem with You Send Me is that it at times focuses too much on the minutiae of the gospel circuit that Cooke and the Soul Stirrers traveled and details of the publishing industry that many readers will not find interesting. But in the end, this book is well worth a read, and anyone interested in Sam Cooke should not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SOMEWHAT INFORMATIVE, HARD TO FOLLOW, February 4, 1999
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
Just finished the book and while I realize Sam's death was an unsolved murder, I'm sort of left with the feeling (didn't anyone care?)Not enough about his wife, or Bobby Womak, or a possible mob hit!!! I was very young when SAM COOKE was murdered, (10yrs old) but I remember being sad because my mom was sad about all the "BAD" rumors going around about his wife having something to do with his murder and how soon she married Bobby Womak whom was so much younger than her, and he wearing Sam's clothes and so forth. But I never heard anything about a "possible" mob hit until the "end" of the book. I was in love with Sam Cooke then and am very much obsessed with him now, I have his gospel recordings as well as his soul/pop recordings. I really don't think that this book was that well written and have looked elsewhere for more information written about Sam Cooke...any suggestions???? The author spent a lot time describing (music notes, sounds from instruments, court proceedings, in other words, chapters and chapters about people, places and things that held no interest to me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearer to Thee, July 5, 2002
By 
This review is from: You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke (Paperback)
Excellent read! Sam happens to be my favorite male singer and this book gave me the deep, in-depth look into this musical genius' life that I was searching for. Amongst the most enlightening topics was the controversy that arose when Sam decided to sing secular music. I had no idea that the church community turned their back's on him the way they did. Secondly, It was no surprise that Sam was a playboy, however, I did not know he fathered as many of the children mentioned. Most sadly, the tragic death of Sam still remains a mystery to me, and I would love to know if his killer is still incarcerated on her unrelated sentence, or even still alive for that matter. But the real shocker in the book deals with Bobby Womack's marriage to Sam's widow shortly after his death! And to even wear his clothing in public- how bizarre! The foolish things we do in our youth. This was a thoroughly researched, well written book, with great attention paid to detail. This book is a must have to add to your home libraries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke
You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke by Daniel Wolff (Paperback - Feb. 1996)
Used & New from: $0.69
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.