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Sam Cooke (foreground) put the spirit of the black church into popular music, creating a new American sound. Charming and brazen, Cooke had a silky voice and good looks that opened doors. The singer is shown here on stage with Ed Sullivan during an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” December 1, 1957.

Above: Sam Cooke (foreground) put the spirit of the black church into popular music, creating a new American sound. Charming and brazen, Cooke had a silky voice and good looks that opened doors. The singer is shown here on stage with Ed Sullivan during an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” December 1, 1957.

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