Sam Cooke died 57 years ago, on Dec. 11, 1964, but his music remains timeless. And it figures in four 2022 Grammy nominations.
Leslie Odom Jr. has two nominations for his work on One Night in Miami…, the film for which he received two Oscar nominations (best supporting actor and best original song) earlier this year.
Odom is Grammy-nominated for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, alongside compilation producer Nicholai Baxter and music supervisor Randall Poster. He is also nominated for best song written for visual media for “Speak Now,” alongside his co-writer Sam Ashworth.
BJ the Chicago Kid, PJ Morton & Kenyon Dixon featuring Charlie Bereal are nominated for best traditional R&B performance for “Bring It on Home to Me.” Cooke received his first Grammy nod 59 years ago for his original version of the song, which was nominated for best rhythm & blues recording.
Tehillah Alphonso is nominated for best arrangement, instruments and vocals for a new recording of Cooke’s classic “A Change Is Gonna Come,” performed by Tonality & Alexander Lloyd Blake. Cooke’s original was released as the B-side (!) of “Shake,” which received a 1965 nod for best rhythm & blues recording.
Cooke never won a Grammy. Two factors help explain that (though of course they don’t excuse it). His biggest hit, the silky “You Send Me,” was released in 1957, the year before the Grammys were launched. And he died in December 1964, when he was still very active – and before the Grammys fully embraced contemporary R&B. If he had lived, he might well have picked up some overdue Grammys, in the same way such contemporaries as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson did.
Cooke received four Grammy nominations in his lifetime and two posthumously. He was nominated four times for best rhythm & blues recording (for “Bring It On Home to Me,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Good Times” and “Shake”) and twice for best rock & roll recording (for “Twistin’ the Night Away” and “Another Saturday Night.”
In recent decades, Cooke has been saluted several times by the Recording Academy. He received a lifetime achievement award in 1999. Four of his classics have been voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. “You Send Me” was inducted in 1998, followed by “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 2000, “(What a) Wonderful World” in 2014 and “Bring It on Home to Me” in 2018.
The documentary Sam Cooke: Legend won the 2003 Grammy for best long form music video (since renamed best music film).
Cooke has received many other awards. He was one of the inaugural inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. (He was inducted by Herb Alpert, who co-wrote “(What a) Wonderful World with Cooke and Lou Adler). He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and received that organization’s Towering Song Award for “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 2013.