Sam Cooke

Sam Moore and his singing partner Dave Prater helped put Stax Records on the map with their string of top hits in the 1960s. Their powerful performances inspired their nicknames of Double Dynamite and The Sultans of Sweat. They began recording together in 1965 and helped redefine soul music of the...
Jerry Blavat is a DJ and radio broadcaster with a lot of energy! Also known as “The Geator with the Heater” and “The Big Boss with the Hot Sauce,” Jerry started his career on the original American Bandstand TV Show in the 1950s. He became the road manager for Danny and the Juniors which allowed him...
Chris Montez recorded a number of hit records including “Let’s Dance” in 1962 followed by “Call Me” and “There Will Never be Another You.” He also scored an international hit with “Cartas de Amor,” which Chris sang in Spanish. In addition to his popular recordings, Chris toured with some of the...
Jerry Fuller recorded a Rockabilly version of “Tennessee Waltz” which was a favorite of Elvis Presley and gave Jerry extra status among Elvis and Rockabilly fans alike. Yet it was his skills as a songwriter that resulted in big hit records for Ricky Nelson, Gary Puckett and Al Wilson! Ricky Nelson...
Ellis Hall is a man of many talents. This singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, and composer may have lost his sight at the young age of 18, but he quickly found inspiration by looking to Ray Charles. After moving to Boston at a young age, Ellis started piano lessons despite knowing that...
Billy Cox played bass alongside Jimi Hendrix as a member of Band of Gypsies. Besides his work with Hendrix, Billy recorded alongside the likes of Sam Cooke, Charlie Daniels, Little Richard, and Etta James. Starting out by learning the piano, then playing the violin, trumpet, and finally finding the...
Tommy Roe wrote most of the hit songs for which he is best known, such as "Dizzy," "Sheila," "Everybody" and "Sweet Pea." Each were hit songs in the 1960s and were part of the early days of his career, which included a tour with the Beatles in 1963. Tommy later formed a music publishing company and...
Archie Bell, a native of Houston, Texas, grew up listening to his mother sing in the Baptist church. Out of her seven sons she singled out Archie and suggested that he should try to be a singer. After seeing Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke in concert together, Archie decided that would be his path as...
William Bell began singing in doo-wop groups before signing for Stax Records in Memphis, which is where his first hit was recorded.  In fact that song, "You Don't Miss Your Water" was also the first big hit for the newly formed record label that would go on to redefine soul music.  William wrote...
Grady Gaines jumped onto the piano during a gig with Little Richard and wailed on his saxophone back in the early 1950s. The photograph of that event has become iconic as it represents the rhythm and blues roots of rock and roll. Grady played his King saxophone with hundreds of artists over the...

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