|Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” is Song of the Week on Classic Pop Icons.
“Bring It On Home to Me” was released in May 1962 as the B-side of “Having a Party,” but would go on to chart independently of the A-side.
Sam Cooke was enjoying his commercial peak in the early 1960s, achieving a string of hits that would become regarded as classic recordings, including “Wonderful World,” “Chain Gang,” “Cupid,” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”. The material was for the most part aimed squarely at the teen market, with the latter song jumping on the bandwagon of the hugely popular dance craze popularised by Chubby Checker. However, Cooke’s commercial instincts were accompanied by an attention to detail in both performance and composition that ensured his is one of the few “Twist” recordings worthy of repeat listening.
It was in the wake of the Top Ten success of “Twistin’ the Night Away” that Cooke recorded “Bring It On Home To Me”. He’d originally been unsure about whether the song suited him and tried to give it away to his friend Dee Clark, who turned it down. It’s a little hard to conceive of a singer passing on such a gem, but also unclear how much of it he heard and in what form. Perhaps the song’s possibilities were not as obvious until Cooke’s fine recording was completed.
Sam Cooke penned “Bring It On Home To Me” with the melody of Charles Brown’s “I Want To Go Home” in mind, which in turn had taken inspiration from the spiritual “Thank God It’s Real”.
“Bring It On Home To Me” was recorded at the same session as “Having A Party” by a band that were living up to the title of that song thanks to a “couple of jugs” that Sam had brought to the studio. The recording opens with a simple but engaging gospel piano part by Ernie Freeman. There’s not much to it, but you’d very much miss it if it wasn’t there. The real key to the song’s success though is the interplay between Cooke and Lou Rawls. The exquisite harmonies and the call-and-response structure recall Cooke’s gospel roots with the Soul Stirrers, and move the song into slightly different territory than his recent hits. This was Sam singing what would soon be universally known as soul music. These qualities were even more apparent when Cooke tackled the song live, with the audience standing in for Rawls on the call-and-response parts. A powerful version appears on the posthumous live album “Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963,” which is also featured on disc four of “The Man Who Invented Soul” box set.
Smokey Robinson has said that his own classic hit “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” was an attempt to replicate the mood and spirit of “Bring It On Home To Me.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included “Bring It On Home To Me” on their list of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock”.
“Bring It On Home To Me” – Sam Cooke
“Bring It On Home to Me” was written by Sam Cooke.
“Bring It On Home to Me” was recorded on April 26, 1962 at RCA Hollywood, Studio 1.
The following musicians featured on “Bring It On Home to Me”:
- Sam Cooke – vocals, harmonica
- Lou Rawls – backing vocals
- Ernie Freeman – piano
- Tommy Tedesco – guitar
- René Hall – guitar
- Ray Pohlman – bass
- Frank Capp – drums, percussion
- William Green – saxophone
- Armand Kaproff – cello
- Cecil Figelski – cello
- Elliot Fisher – violin
- Myron Sandler – violin
- Joseph Saxon – violin
- Ralph Schaeffer – violin
- Marshall Sosson – violin
- Wilbert Nuttycombe – viola
- Irving Weinper – viola.
The session was produced by Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore.
“Bring It On Home to Me” peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 19, 1962. “Having a Party” had already charted independently, peaking at number 17.
Other notable recordings
“Bring It On Home To Me” – The Animals
The Animals reached the Top Ten in the UK and Top Forty in the US with their excellent 1965 cover of “Bring It On Home To Me”. The band let the song build in intensity from the slow piano intro and sedate opening vocals of Eric Burdon, to the energetic outro, with the rest of the band echoing Burdon’s “yeas”. It also appeared on the US edition of the album “Animals Tracks”.
“Bring It On Home To Me” – B.B King and Paul Carrack
B.B King and Paul Carrack joined forces for a great cover of “Bring It On Home to Me” on the UK edition of King’s 1997 duets album “Deuces Wild”. Not suprisingly, the blues elements of the song are to the fore, with some cool guitar licks from King and high-powered vocal support from Carrack.
There will be a new Song of the Week on November 12.
Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” features on a number of Sam Cooke compilations, including “Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964” and the four disc box set “Man Who Invented Soul”.
Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend – 1951-1964 (CD)
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Sam Cooke: Man Who Invented Soul (4 CDs)
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Tags: BB King, Bring It On Home To Me, Lou Rawls, Paul Carrack, Sam Cooke
Posted in Song of the Week, Soul |