Andrew Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was born in Chicago and currently spends his time between Chicago and a farm near the town of Elizabeth in northwest Illinois. He has mastered several instruments and is musically proficient on others. They include the violin, guitar, mandolin, whistling, and glockenspiel.
Rawls was born on December 1, 1933 in Chicago and raised by his grandmother in the Ida B. Wells projects on the city’s South Side. He began singing in the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church choir at the age of seven and later sang with local groups through which he met future music stars Sam Cooke, who was nearly three years older than Rawls, and Curtis Mayfield.
After graduating from Chicago’s Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, he sang briefly with Cooke in the Teenage Kings of Harmony, a local gospel group, and then with the Holy Wonders. In 1951, Rawls replaced Cooke in the Highway QC’s after Cooke departed to join The Soul Stirrers in Los Angeles. Rawls was soon recruited by the Chosen Gospel Singers and himself moved to Los Angeles, where he subsequently joined the Pilgrim Travelers.
In 1955, Rawls enlisted in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He left the “All-Americans” three years later as a sergeant and rejoined the Pilgrim Travelers (then known as the Travelers). In 1958, while touring the South with the Travelers and Sam Cooke, Rawls was in a serious car crash. Rawls was pronounced dead before arriving at the hospital, where he stayed in a coma for five and a half days. It took him months to regain his memory, and a year to fully recuperate. Rawls considered the event to be life-changing.
Alongside Dick Clark as master of ceremonies, Rawls was recovered enough by 1959 to be able to perform at the Hollywood Bowl. He was signed to Capitol Records in 1962, the same year he sang the soulful background vocals on the Sam Cooke recording of “Bring it on Home to Me” and “That’s where it’s at,” both written by Cooke. Rawls himself charted with a cover of “Bring it on home to me” in 1970 (with the title shortened to “Bring It On Home”).
Rawls’ first Capitol solo release was Stormy Monday (a.k.a. I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water), a jazz album, in 1962. On August 21, 1966, he opened for The Beatles at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.
Though his 1966 album Live! went gold, Rawls would not have a star-making hit until he made a proper soul album, appropriately named Soulin’, later that same year. The album contained his first R&B #1 single, “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing“. In 1967 Rawls won his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, for the single “Dead End Street.”
Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. He is commonly known as The King of Soul for his unmatched vocal abilities and impact and influence on the modern world of music. His contribution in pioneering Soul music led to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and popularizing the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.
Cooke had 29 top-40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1964. Major hits like “You Send Me“, “A Change Is Gonna Come“, “Chain Gang“, “Wonderful World“, and “Bring It on Home to Me” are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the American Civil Rights Movement.
On December 11, 1964, Cooke was shot dead by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California at the age of 33. At the time, the courts ruled that Cooke was drunk and distressed, and the manager killed Cooke in what was later ruled a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been widely questioned.
Minnie Julia Riperton (November 8, 1947 – July 12, 1979) was an American singer-songwriter best known for her vocal range of five-and-a-half octaves and her 1975 single “Lovin’ You“. She was married to songwriter and music producer Richard Rudolph from 1972 until her death in the summer of 1979. They had two children – music engineer Marc Rudolph and actress/comedienne Maya Rudolph.
Riperton grew up on Chicago’s southside. As a child, she studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago’s Lincoln Center. In her teen years, she sang lead vocals for the Chicago-based girl group, The Gems. Her early affiliation with the legendary Chess Records afforded her the opportunity to sing backup for various established artist such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters. While at Chess, Riperton also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971. In 1969 Riperton, along with Rotary Connection, played in the first Catholic Rock Mass at the Liturgical Conference National Convention, Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, WI. produced by James F. Colaianni. Riperton reached the apex of her short, but esteemed, career with her number-one hit single, “Lovin’ You,” on April 4, 1975. The single was the last release from her 1974 gold album entitled Perfect Angel.
In January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. By the time of diagnosis, the cancer had metastasized and she was given about six months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, she continued recording and touring. Riperton was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis, but did not disclose that she was terminally ill. In 1977, she became spokesman for the American Cancer Society. In 1978, Riperton also received the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award which was presented to her at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. She died at age 31 on July 12, 1979
Chicago is not only known for food. The above artist exemplified music on a higher plateau. This has been the Taste of Chicago.