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29 JANUARY 2020 (TORONTO, ON) - ABKCO Music & Records launches a year-long celebration leading up to the 90th anniversary of Sam Cooke’s birth with the January 24 release of The Complete Keen Years: 1957 – 1960 CD Box Set  and announces today, a series of eight vinyl editions, including several Tracey Limited titlesback in print on vinyl restored with original artwork. The release date was chosen because it is the closest Friday to Cooke’s actual January 22 birthdate.


Following the expiration of his RCA Victor contract in 1963, Sam Cooke established Tracey Limited, his own label, which assigned distribution rights to RCA for a finite period of time. Tracey was Cooke’s way to assert both artistic commercial control over his own recordings and to better realize his far-reaching musical ambitions. He was one of the first recording stars, black or white, to command this kind of control, the most noteworthy other example at the time being Frank Sinatra. The first album released through Tracey were Sam Cooke At The Copa and Ain’t That Good News.


On April 3rd, Sam Cooke At the Copa and Ain’t That Good News will be back in print on vinyl, and also available for the first time on vinyl, Keep Movin’ On, the critically acclaimed compilation that was first issued on CD nineteen years ago. Keep Movin’ On, a late career overview released in 2001, was titled after a song which, at that time, had never before been released. The album was lauded by Rolling Stone as “an indispensable collection” but has never been available on LP until now.  Its 23 tracks are offered on two 180 gm vinyl LPs housed in a gatefold package with the original essay by Peter Guralnick intact.


Sam Cooke At The Copa, first issued in October of 1964, is the audio document of Cooke’s triumphant stand at New York’s leading nightclub and offers insight into his easy going but totally focused performing style in front of a sophisticated audience.  The New York Times review noted of Cooke’s Copacabana performance fifty-five years ago, “It may surprise that he has dignity, humility and feeling to go with a strong voice. In the years to come, more will be heard of Mr. Cooke.  His is a talent that can grow.”  Despite Cooke’s tragic and untimely death before the end of that year, the review’s prophesy has been borne out by the masterful performances heard on At The Copa that include “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Try A Little Tenderness,”  and the hits “Twistin’ The Night Away,” “You Send Me” and “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons.”  Of special note is Cooke’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” that reflected the struggle for civil rights that was underway at that time.  Dylan’s song inspired Cooke to write his like-themed masterpiece, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”


Ain’t That Good News was originally issued earlier in 1964 via Tracey Records. It was to be the star’s final studio album released during his lifetime and, as such, finds Cooke at the apogee of his pop-soul career with the title track going to #1 on the Cash Box R&B chart. The album’s folk tinged “Meet Me At Mary’s Place” was the inspiration for “Mary’s Place,” the Bruce Springsteen song heard on his 2002 album The Rising. Also featured is “Good Times,” which the Rolling Stones were inspired to record and include on the band’s Out of Our Heads album as a tribute to Cooke after his passing while “Another Saturday Night” went Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.  The album provided the original context for the still resonant “A Change Is Gonna Come” that went on to become a musical beacon during the struggle for civil rights. Upon his election as 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama paraphrased the song’s key lyrics before a massive crowd of supporters at Chicago’s Grant Park declaring, “It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”


Also planned for 2020 the individual component albums of The Complete Keen Years (1957 -1960) are also being released as vinyl LPs alongside the CD box set.  Sourced from newly discovered master tape reels, these albums, pressed on 180 gm vinyl, feature restored original art and the original tune stacks as when first released.  They include Sam Cooke, Encore, Tribute to The Lady, Hit Kit and The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke, essential titles in the Sam Cooke vinyl library.



Pre-order HERE



Sam Cooke At The Copa (RCA LSP-2970) (1964)

1) Opening Introduction - Sammy Davis, Jr.

2) The Best Things In Life Are Free

3 ) Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home 

4) Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out 

5) Frankie and Johnny 

6) Medley: Try A Little Tenderness/(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons/You Send Me

7) If I Had a Hammer

8) When I Fall In Love

9) Twistin’ The Night Away

10) This Little Light of Mine/Amen

11) Blowin’ in the Wind

12) Tennessee Waltz 


Ain’t That Good News (RCA LSP-2899)(1964)

1) Ain't That Good News

2) Meet Me At Mary's Place

3) Good Times

4) Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

5) Another Saturday Night

6) Tennessee Waltz

7) A Change Is Gonna Come

8) Falling In Love

9) Home

10) Sittin’ In The Sun

11) No Second Time

12) The Riddle Song 


Keep Movin’ On (ABKCO–18771-3563-2) (2001)

1) Good News

2) Rome Was Not Built In A Day 

3) Meet Me At Mary’s Place

4) Basin Street Blues 

5) Cousin of Mine

6) Tennessee Waltz 

7) Falling In Love 

8) When A Boy Falls In Love 

9) Good Times

10) Shake

11) Yeah Man

12) It’s Got the Whole World Shaking

13) The Riddle Song

14) I’m Just a Country Boy 

15) Try A little Love 

16) There’ll Be No Second Time 

17) Another Saturday Night 

18) Sugar Dumpling

19) That’s Where It’s At 

20) You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You 

21) (Somebody) Ease My Troublin’ Mind

22) A Change Is Gonna Come

23) Keep Movin’ On


Sam Cooke (KEEN A-2001) (1958)

1) You Send Me

2) The Lonesome Road

3) Tammy

4) Ol’ Man River

5) Moonlight In Vermont

6) Canadian Sunset

7) Summertime (Part 2)

8) Around The World

9) Ain’t Misbehavin’

10) The Bells Of St. Mary’s

11) So Long

12) Danny Boy

13) That Lucky Old Sun


Encore (KEEN A-2003) (1958)

1) Oh, Look At Me Now

2) Someday

3) Along The Navajo Trail

4) Running Wild

5) Accentuate The Positive

6) Mary, Mary Lou

7) When I Fall In Love

8) I Cover The Waterfront

9) My Foolish Heart

10) Today I Sing The Blues

11) The Gypsy

12) It’s The Talk Of The Town


Tribute to The Lady (KEEN A-2004) (1959)

1) God Bless the Child  

2) She’s Funny That Way  

3) I’ve Gotta Right to Sing the Blues  

4) Good Morning Heartache  

5) Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness (If I Do)  

6) Comes Love  

7) Lover Girl (Man)  

8) Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off  

9) Lover Come Back to Me  

10) Solitude  

11) They Can’t Take That Away from Me  

12) Crazy She Calls Me  


Hit Kit (KEEN LP 86101) (1959)

1) Only Sixteen

2) All Of My Life

3) Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha (stereo version)

4) Blue Moon

5) Win Your Love For Me

6) Lonely Island

7) You Send Me

8) Love You Most Of All

9) (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons

10) Little Things You Do (stereo version)

11) Let’s Go Steady Again (stereo version)

12) You Were Made For Me


The Wonderful World Of Sam Cooke (KEEN LP 86106) (1960)

1) (What A) Wonderful World

2) Desire Me

3) Summertime

4) Almost In Your Arms

5) That’s Heaven To Me 

6) No One (Can Ever Take Your Place)

7) With You

8) Blue Moon

9) Stealing Kisses

10) You Were Made For Me

11) There I’ve Said It Again

12) I Thank God 


ABOUT ABKCO ABKCO Music & Records, Inc., is one of the world’s leading independent entertainment companies. It is home to iconic music catalogues that include compositions and recordings by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, Bobby Womack, Eric Burdon, The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway masters by such artists as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Clint Eastwood, The Dovells, ? &The Mysterians, The Orlons, Dee Dee Sharp, Charlie Gracie, and The Tymes. Releases on ABKCO’s SAR Records include albums by L.C. Cooke, The Soul Stirrers, Billy Preston, Johnnie Taylor, and The Valentinos, and more. ABKCO Records latest release is The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (50th Anniversary Edition). ABKCO is active on many fronts, including the release of critically lauded soundtracks, compilations, reissues from its catalog, film, commercial placement of its master recordings and music publishing properties in all media. One Night in Miami…,ABKCO’s latest theatrical production, received a nomination for the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Play and is being adapted as a Major Motion Picture. ABKCO Films next release is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic: A Healing Art.  ABKCO’s latest TV production is The Durrells in Corfu, based on Gerald Durrell’s book The Corfu Trilogy


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