"Wonderful World"

Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964),  known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.  Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the "King of Soul" for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. He began singing as a child and joined The Soul Stirrers before moving to a solo career where he scored a string of hit songs like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Wonderful World", "Chain Gang", "Twistin' the Night Away", and "Bring it on Home to Me".

Cooke was born Samuel Cook in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1931.  In 1957 he added an "e" at the end of his name to signify a new start to his life. He was the fifth of eight children of the Rev. Charles Cook, a minister in the Church of Christ (Holiness), and his wife, Annie Mae. 

The family moved to Chicago in 1933.  Cooke attended Doolittle Elementary and Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, the same school that Nat "King" Cole had attended a few years earlier. Sam Cooke began his career with his siblings in a group called the Singing Children when he was six years old.  He first became known as lead singer with the Highway QC's when he was a teenager, having joined the group at the age of 14. During this time, Cooke befriended fellow gospel singer and neighbor Lou Rawls, who sang in a rival gospel group.

Mark Dawson is the lead vocalist and bass player for the legendary pop/rock band The Grass Roots, also an independent recording artist and a radio talk/music show host. Mark also currently has a music licensing agreement with FOX Television. In addition, Dawson is also an author and the bass player for Orlando-based group Simulcast. He performs music around the world, both with The Grass Roots and as a solo artist. You can listen to his weekly radio talk and music show "making noise with Mark Dawson", on OurGenerationRadio.com

- Born in Chicago, IL on November 5, 1956. Mark and his family now reside in Orlando, Florida.
- 1976 to 1982, bass player/lead singer for Chicago-area favorites, "Street Kids" & "Dreamer".
- In 1983, launched the "All-Night Newsboys", which played-on until the mid-1990's. 
- In 1992, named to "Billboard Magazine's Top 100 "Up-and-Coming Songwriters". 
- Featured vocalist for the Coors Light radio campaign ("It's the Right Beer Now") 1991 - 1993.
 - In 1994, Illinois Entertainer "Vocalist of the Year" nomination.

- The All-Night Newsboys release their critically acclaimed CD, "Playtime".
- Moved to Florida in 1995. Joined doo-wop/Motown group "The Streetlites", as tenor vocalist and musical director.

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The Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 is not related to any other museums or "hall of fame" anywhere.

Telephone:   815-927-1540
Email:  Hello@RoadToRock.org
Illinois Rock & Roll Museum
PO BOX 1251
Joliet, IL 60432
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Proud to Be in Joliet, Illinois