Vintage Video: Sam Cooks Sings "For Sentimental Reasons", "You Send Me" and "Twistin' the Night Away"

If he had lived, Sam Cooke would have been 85 today.

In just eight short years, Cooke amassed a list of hit singles that would be only a dream for most performers. Starting with 1957's You Send Me, Cooke scored four top ten singles and seventeen that hit the top twenty, most of which have become standards of the rock era.

The circumstances of Cooke's death on December 11, 1964 at the age of 33 are still in question. While the investigation concluded that a hotel worker had shot Cooke when he burst into the office in a claimed state of rage, calling it "justifiable homicide", others who had viewed Cooke's body said that there was obvious evidence that much more had happened to the singer that night and that the story of the worker and the hotel's manager could not possibly be correct.

There are not a lot of good films of Cooke performing. Here are two, first with Sam performing a medley of For Sentimental Reasons and You Send Me followed by Twistin' the Night Away.

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