Singer Sam Cooke inked a deal with Keen Records today (September 7, 1957).
The deal with Keen was signed the same day the first single “Summertime/You Send Me” was released.
The deal was engineered by legendary producer Bumps Blackwell, who had already been in the recording studio with Sam, cutting several sides on him.
Sam received a 3 1/2 percent artist royalty, while his manager Bumps received a 10% managers fee, right off the top.
“You Send Me” caught on with DJ’s across the country and allowed Sam Cooke to cross over to white audiences.
Shortly afterwards, the William Morris Agency began booking Sam into white clubs, in addition to high-profile television appearances.
Sam landed a spot on the Ed Sullivan Show on November 3, 1957.
He sang his rendition of “You Send Me,” but it was cut short because the show ran out of time.
Sam Cooke returned to the Ed Sullivan Show in December 1957, where he sang “You Send Me” and the standard, “For Sentimental Reasons.”