Monday, February 04, 2008

Tha Artstorian Ponders:Is Barack Obama The Sam Cooke of American Politics???

Barack's Crossover Appeal Is Reminiscent Of The Legendary Soul Icon’s Mainstream Success

Sam Cooke performing his hit “You Send Me” on The American Bandstand...


The other day I was listening to The Man Who Invented Soul Music a.k.a. Mr. Sam Cooke in the relative comfort of my automobile…Sam Cooke besides being one of my favorite singers of all time, is arguably one of the greatest crossover success stories in the annals of American music history…He was popular among both White and Black audiences and even managed a cult following which exists to this day…His 29 Top 40 Pop Music hits attests to his huge popularity…

Men respected him while women adored him…

As I was pondering the genius and appeal of Sam Cooke between songs something peculiar crossed the space of my mind…Barack Obama is the Sam Cooke of American Politics!!!

I know this may sound far fetched and over the top, but please read what I have to say and at least humor my attempts at intelligent thought and analysis…After all it is Black History month…

Here are some quick facts for starters….

Both men are "transplant natives" of Chicago, Illinois…Sam Cooke and his family originally hail from “the old country in the heart of the delta, Bluesville U.S.A. a.k.a. Clarksdale, Mississippi”…Meanwhile, Obama was born in Hawaii, his mom coming from the flat Midwest Kansas plains of the good ole United States and his father the breathtaking terrain of Kenya which is located on the east coast of the Motherland, Africa…

Both men careers had a start in the Black Church…Bro. Sam perfected his heavenly golden soul drenched pipes as a member of the legendary gospel group known as the Soul Stirrers…He also sang in the choir of his father’s church, a well known minister in Chicago…Bro. Barack developed his provocative gospel stirring, pulpit shaking vocal cadence delivery under the tutelage of his spiritual adviser, the honorable Rev. Jeremiah Wright, noted community activist and the current head of Trinity Unity Church in Chicago…As a matter of fact Barack owes the title to his latest best selling book, The Audacity of Hope, from a sermon the good reverend delivered back in the 1990s…

Both men possess matinee idol looks, great smiles and charisma …Yes as a straight man I am comfortable in writing this…

Barack and Sam have huge crossover appeal…Sam Cooke consistently charted the R&B and Pop Charts and sold millions of records while he was alive with numerous appearances on some of the top t.v. shows and at the best performance venues of his era, easily becoming a household name among Black and White audiences alike…His song “You Send Me” was recently featured in a popular Mercedes Benz commercial and many of his songs have been included in numerous other commercials and movie soundtracks (“Change Gonna Come”, perhaps Cooke’s best known song, played an important emotional part in Spike Lee’s brilliant cinema epic Malcolm X)…Since 2004, Barack’s name recognition has steadily been on the rise…With a convincing win in the predominantly White Iowa Caucus and an overwhelming win in the predominantly Black South Carolina Primary, Barack proves that he got the skills to engage everyone on the issues regardless of race…

Sam Cooke, universally recognized as one of the most important pioneers in rock history, was an inaugural member of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 1986…Barack plans to be inaugurated into the White House January 2009 as the first “Black U.S. President” in history…

Sam had several daughters…Barack is currently the father of two daughters…

Barack used to smoke squares (cigarettes)...Sam Cooke made a legendary album at the Harlem Square in Miami and sang about “smoke rings” on occasion…Puff, puff, puff…

Barack Obama refuses to take money from Washington Lobbyists…Being an excellent businessman, Sam Cooke refused anybody from “taking his money” (this may have cost him his life in the end)…

Sam Cooke sang about “Change Gonna Come”…Barack represents “Change”…

However, one difference between Barack and Sam is when their careers peaked…Sam Cooke was taken from us tragically at the young age of 33 under circumstances that are just as mysterious today as when it happened over 43 years ago…At age 46 Barack is still with us, his star only just beginning to ascend into the stratosphere of unlimited potential…

Also Bro. Sam was known as a notorious womanizer (something that could have played a role in his death and something that Barack has not been accused of…Yet)…

You think Billary is something wait until Barack gets a load of the Republicans…The same people who brought you the Willie Horton commercial, the Monica Lewinsky Scandal and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth…All with the help of your taxpayer dollars…

These are just my thoughts…Happy Black History Month!!!

photo by wilma potts
(Ron Herd II also known as R2C2H2 Tha Artivist hosts the internet radio show “Tha Artivist Presents...W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio” at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe . His Website is http://www.weallbe.blogspot.com... He is also the author of James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant http://www.jazzlieutenant.blogspot.com)

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1 comment:

Sam's Neph said...

All excellent points, my Brother! Also remember that Barack was elected the 44th President 44 years after A Change is Gonna Come was released.

I wrote my book because many of Sam's accomplishments--both musically, business-wise, and politically--often go overlooked. I applaud you for recognizing them here.

Erik Greene
Author, “Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective”
www.OurUncleSam.com