Album: Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963
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In January 1963, Sam Cooke and his label RCA decided to immortalize his current stage show by recording a set at the Harlem Square Club in Miami. And the results were so revelatory, so indicative of where Sam was going with his music — a much grittier, harder R&B sound than he’d previously gone after — that it freaked RCA the fuck out and they didn’t release it for 22 years. In their mind, Sam Cooke was a pop artist, and this anything but pop.