Sam Cooke’s Younger Brother Releases Debut Album at Age 81

L.C. Cooke recorded this album in 1964 and it’s finally out. Esquire’s got the story, and some great backstory too:

“One day in 1961, Aretha called me. She said, ‘L.C., I need you to do me a favor. I asked my father if we could use his new car to go on Sam’s tour.’ Her father [the legendary Reverend C.L. Franklin] had a 1961 Continental, you know, with the suicide doors. Aretha told me she could use it on one condition: only if I drove. So I called Sam. And he said, ‘No, man. I’m trying to make you a star. I don’t want you driving nobody. Not even me! You’re nobody’s chauffeur.’”

After some finagling, Sam relented. […] But the Reverend had something else in mind.

“Later on, I figured out what Reverend Franklin’s motives were,” says Cooke, chuckling. “He wanted me to get with Aretha. He figured Sam would break her heart. I didn’t find that out ’til 1970! That’s when Aretha’s road manager came over to me and said, ‘L.C., Aretha can do a lot of things. But she do not know how to pick a man.’


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