Throwback: Happy 90th Birthday, Sam Cooke!

The legendary Sam Cooke would have turned 90 today. Although he was killed under curious circumstances when he was 33, his relatively short pop career transformed R&B, soul and pop while helping towards the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston, Otis Redding, and even James Brown.

There’s quite a bit of existing television footage of Cooke, including a few interviews, on YouTube — and the footage is a great reminder of how charismatic and cool he was. But more important: that voice! Goodness! Happy birthday, Sam, wherever you are!