Morning Song – Good Times
Sam Cooke’s voice sounds so effortlessly smooth and relaxed that you’d be forgiven for taking “I’m gonna stay here til I soothe my soul, if it take all night long” as nothing more than a shameless pickup line.
But by the middle of 1964 when “Good Times” began its climb to #1 on the R&B charts, the backlash against the civil rights movement—in which Cooke played an increasingly public role—was growing ever more vicious, with new martyrs being created almost monthly. Closer to home, Cooke’s infant son Vincent had died less than a year before, drowning in a tragic swimming pool accident.
So regardless of how smooth Cooke’s voice sounds (and it’s hard to think of any vocalist in the past three generations who sounded smoother), the man knew what it meant to have a troubled soul. And how important it was to soothe and care for it. Even it it did take all night long on the dance floor…or wherever.