Ain't That Good News

Ain't That Good News

by Sam CookeSam Cooke


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The last of his studio albums released in his lifetime, Sam Cooke's Ain't That Good News offers a lot of superb material, pointing in several directions that, alas, were to go largely unexplored. The central number is, of course, the earth-shattering "A Change Is Gonna Come," with its soaring gospel sound and the most elaborate production of any song in Cooke's output. The rousing though less substantial title track also came out of a gospel tradition, as does Cooke's treatment of "Tennessee Waltz," which is one of his finest adaptations of contemporary pop material. "Falling in Love" was the work of Harold Battiste, an old friend of Cooke's who had recently re-entered his orbit and was partly responsible for encouraging the singer in exploring the New Orleans sound that was evident on "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" and "Meet Me at Mary's Place." And then there's "Good Times," a bittersweet, introspective party number, and the pensive successor to "Twistin' the Night Away." There are a few moments where the spell is almost broken by the intrusion of what seems like pop material, but even Cooke's version of "The Riddle Song" is worth owning, as a glimpse of how he could turn a folk song into a something so quietly soulful that its origins disappeared. With the exception of "Another Saturday Night," which had been released as a single early in the previous year, Ain't That Good News comprised the first material that Cooke had recorded in the six months following the drowning death of his 18-month-old son Vincent; it was also the first album that Cooke recorded and released under his new contract, which gave him greater freedom in choosing repertory and sidemen than he'd ever had, and so it offered a lot of pent-up emotional and musical expression, and, as it turned out, was tragically unique in the singer's output. Ain't That Good News was reissued in June of 2003 as an extraordinary audiophile-quality hybrid CD/Super-Audio CD edition by ABKCO Records, with full music and session credits. The sound on that edition literally blows any prior edition of the album, or any earlier CD release of those songs.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/17/2003
Label: Abkco
UPC: 0018771989929
catalogNumber: 98992

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sam Cooke   Primary Artist,Vocals
Lincoln Mayorga   Piano,Celeste
Plas Johnson   Saxophone
Barney Kessel   Guitar
Buddy Clark   Bass
J.J. Farley   Background Vocals
Israel Baker   Violin
Hal Blaine   Drums
Robert Barene   Violin
Harold Battiste   Piano
Arnold Belnick   Violin
Milt Bernhart   Trombone
Harry Betts   Trombone
Louise Blackburn   Trombone
John Boudreaux   Drums
James Bryant   Background Vocals
Carole Lombard   Background Vocals
Leroy Crume   Guitar
John DeVoogdt   Violin
Jesse Ehrlich   Cello
Paul Foster   Background Vocals
Richard Gibbs   Background Vocals
Jewell L. Grant   Saxophone
William Green   Saxophone
Rene Hall   Conductor
Howard Roberts   Guitar
Harry Hyams   Viola
Gwen Johnson   Background Vocals
Raymond Johnson   Piano
William Kurash   Violin
Melvin Lastie   Trumpet
Leonard Malarsky   Violin
Alexander Neiman   Viola
Earl Palmer   Drums
Jack Pepper   Violin
John Pisano   Guitar
Ray Pohlman   Bass
Emil Radocchia   Percussion,Marimbas,Timpani
Allan Reuss   Guitar
Emmet Sargeant   Cello
Ralph Schaeffer   Violin
Robert Tebow   Background Vocals
Darrel Terwilliger   Violin
George Tipton   Background Vocals
Jackie Ward   Background Vocals
Dave Wells   Trombone
Clifton White   Guitar
Tibor Zelig   Violin
Joseph R. Gibbons   Banjo
Irving Lipschultz   Violin
Johnny Halliburton   Trombone
Joe Hooven   Conductor
Red Tyler   Saxophone
John Anderson   Trumpet
Sidney Sharp   Violin
Chuck Badie   Bass
Eddie Hall   Drums
John Ewing   Trombone
Clifford Hils   Bass
Norman Bartold   Guitar
S.R. Crain   Background Vocals
Linwood Mitchell   Percussion
Jimmie Outler   Background Vocals
Edgar Redmond   Saxophone
Eddie Tilman   Bass
William Hinshaw   French Horn
Ernie Tack   Trombone

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Sam Cooke   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
Hugo & Luigi   Producer
Rene Hall   Arranger
David Hassinger   Engineer
Hugo   Producer
Iris Keitel   Art Direction
Luigi   Producer
Steve Rosenthal   Archives Coordinator
Clifton White   Composer
Joe Hooven   Arranger
Peter Van Steeden   Composer
Gus Skinas   Engineer
Alisa Ritz   Art Direction
Harry Clarkson   Composer
Jeff Clarkson   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Wally Seawell   Cover Photo
Teri Landi   Producer
Laura Walton   Audio Production
Jody H. Klein   Producer

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