The late Sam Cooke will be honored June 18 when 36th Street at Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago is renamed Sam Cooke Way.
Cooke and his family lived at 3527 Cottage Grove Ave. in Chicago and later moved to 724 E. 36th St. David and L.C. Cooke, the singer’s younger brothers, are expected to attend the ceremony.
“Sam Cooke has long been considered one of the pioneers of, if not the creative force behind, what has come to be known as soul music,” said historian and Chicago Blues Museum founder Gregg Parker, who is heading the ceremony and celebration. “Cooke was among the first modern black performers and composers who was a proponent of economic self-determination insofar as he actually came to own his own master recordings and publishing contracts and started his own record company. Additionally, he was an advocate and activist on behalf of civil rights, a fact that is mirrored in his epochal song, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ the lyrics of which were paraphrased by President Barack Obama on the night he won the election.”
Soul great Jerry Butler, who serves as commissioner of Cook County, will proclaim June 18 to be Sam Cooke Day.