I recently had the great privilege to have an engaging interview with the dynamic artist Carla Cooke, a wondrous singer in her own right and daughter of the singing legend Sam Cooke.
Ms. Cooke will perform a tribute to her legendary father entitled The Ultimate Sam Cooke’s Birthday Celebration Starring Daughter Carla Cooke on what would have been his 86th birthday. The performance will take place at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club this Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM (Doors open at 5:30 PM).
David: It is a pleasure to speak with you. What will be the theme of your show at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club and have you ever performed there before?
Carla Cooke: I have been excited about it –this show is something special because it will all be performed on his birthday—it will encompass all his music. I have never performed here before but am looking forward to it.
Do you have any favorite songs of your father?
So many songs. I love “Lost and Looking,” my father used very little musical instrumental accompaniment and it really touches your soul. “A Change is Gonna Come” is another favorite.
How do you feel about other artists covering your father’s songs?
Some are really good and it keeps them relevant.
What type of venue do you enjoy performing at the most? Do you feel reciprocity with the audience when you perform?
I love the audience. I have no preference as to where I perform; I just love singing and reaching the audience.
Do you have any favorite styles of music?
I love all different types of songs, especially Gospel and really romantic music. I also love R&B and love songs. I also love jazz. I listen to all genres. I love Christian music; I listen to that when I’m driving.
Do you have any favorite musical influences?
My favorite female artist is Barbra Streisand. I would love to do a duet with her. I also love Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, and Celine Dion.
How do you juggle the busy demands of your life?
As I get older, doors are open, I can travel anywhere and I enjoy what I do. My seven children are all grown and I have six grandchildren.
What do you get out of the songwriting process?
Putting the words to music and vice-versa. I enjoy writing.
What are your future goals?
I will continue to tour in the U.S. and I’d like to tour overseas. I hope to have my new CD out in several months.
I have appreciated your time and talking with you. Is there anything you would like to say as we conclude our interview?
I hope everyone will come out and see what I have to offer and to reminisce about what my Father did, especially since my concert is taking place on his actual Birthday. You know, he was one of the first African American Singers to own his own publishing rights.
Thank you once again.
Carla Cooke will perform in The Ultimate Sam Cooke’s Birthday Celebration Starring Daughter Carla Cooke for one night only on Sunday, January 22, 2017, at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club – 7719 Wisconsin Avenue, in Bethesda, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (240) 330-4500, or purchase them online.
Carla Cooke’s website.