Sam Cooke

EP103: Lee Fields on Sam Cooke's "Portrait Of A Legend" (2003)

Heat Rocks
Lee Fields

The Album: Sam Cooke Portrait Of A Legend (2003)

Legendary soul singer Lee Fields (Daptone, Truth & Soul, Big Crown Records) stopped by Heat Rocks to discuss the 30 tracks compiled by ABKCO records on Sam Cooke, Portrait of A Legend, released in the summer of 2003. The album covers multi-genres including gospel, pop and soul - Sam's hits, during his storied 15 year career which ended tragically with his untimely death at 33. Referred to as, "the man who invented soul" Sam Cooke hummed and crooned his way into soul music's canon starting with three words: You Send Me .

Lee Fields' career began 50 years ago with the release of his first single on the Bedford label "Bewildered". Since then he's released dance tracks, recorded with The Expressions, had his music placed in shows like Atlanta and Dear White People, toured the country and has his songs remixed by some of the best.

He and Morgan discussed the gospel according to Sam Cooke, symbolism in A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke as a lyricist, Sam Cooke as a storyteller. A veteran soul singer in conversation about one of the architects of soul music It gets no better.

More on Lee Fields

More on Sam Cooke

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Portrait Of A Legend unless indicated otherwise):

  • Nothing Can Change This Love
  • Lee Fields & The Expressions: Honey Dove
  • Touch The Hem of His Garment
  • You Send Me
  • You Were Made For Me
  • Only Sixteen
  • Soul
  • Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers: The Last Mile of the Way
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Chain Gang
  • Cupid
  • Bring It On Home To Me
  • Nothing Can Change This Love
  • (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
  • Summertime
  • You Send Me
  • Sugar Dumpling
  • Muhammad Ali: The Gang's All Here
  • A Change Is Gonna Come
  • Aretha Franklin: A Change Is Gonna Come
  • Otis Redding: A Change Is Gonna Come
  • Touch The Hem Of His Garment
  • You Were Made For Me

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there
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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian

Stuart Murdoch

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Photo: Julio Enriquez for Flickr Creative Commons

Belle and Sebastian founder Stuart Murdoch on making 'Indie Pop'

As founder of the indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian, Murdoch has an affinity for popular music of the past. The Brit-pop movement of the 1980s or the sunshiny American pop of the 1960s are some of his favorite genres. The 1980s were a great time for the musician. He had little interest in creating music as a kid outside of a few piano lessons and recitals. Then there was the occasional DJ set during his formative college years. Still, being a spectator of music was very much a part of his life.

Around the beginning of the 1990s, though, that changed. Murdoch started to feel exhausted and sore pretty much all the time. He couldn't concentrate. Sleep would come, but it wouldn't help. He'd come down with chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME. Murdoch dropped out of school, stopped running track, stopped DJing. At home, he started writing songs on the piano. And on the advice of his doctor, he took a class for unemployed musicians.

There he met Stuart David, and the music they made together eventually became Belle & Sebastian.

Since their debut, Belle and Sebastian records have made it on literally hundreds of top ten lists. Their second album, 1996's If You're Feeling Sinister, is routinely called one of the best albums of the 90s.

These days Murdoch still fronts the band and still writes music, he's got a wife and kids and through all that, he still deals with chronic fatigue.

The band is back with a new album. It's the original soundtrack to Days of Bagnold Summer. It features a breathtaking new track, Sister Buddha.

Murdoch joins Bullseye to talk about retro pop music, how meditation changed his music and songwriting. Plus, Jesse and Stuart talk about the great game of baseball. If you didn't know, Stuart's a Mets fan.

If you're traveling in Europe this fall, click here for Belle and Sebastian's upcoming tour dates.

For the rest of us, you can purchase their latest album on vinyl here.

This interview originally aired in February of 2018.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Doug Jones, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrew Noz and God on Noah

Doug Jones
Jeffrey Tambor
Andrew Noz
Seth Morris
David Javerbaum

Noz on Rap

Blogger Andrew Noz from Cocaine Blunts kicks off this week's show by recommending some recent favorites from the world of rap -- Stupid H** from Nicki Minaj, and Walking Lick by Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame.

For more from Noz, check out or his cover story in this month's issue of The Fader.
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Character Actor Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor began his screen-acting career at the age of 35, though he'd been acting onstage since he was eight years old. A native of San Francisco, he started in television in the 1970s, and his career has followed a simple track since: he plays important authority figures (doctors, lawyers, judges) and self-important pseudo-authority figures; those have included the beloved characters Hank Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show, and George Bluth, Sr. on Arrested Development.

Jeffrey sat down with Jesse back in 2009 to talk about how he got involved with both Arrested Development and Larry Sanders (or as his mother called it, The Hank Kingsley Show), the art of finding the serious side to comedic characters, and his teaching career. He brings his acting workshop to South by Southwest later this month. His new sitcom Bent premieres March 21st on NBC.
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From A Memoir By God: God Speaks about Noah

What really went down when God asked Noah to build the ark? Emmy award-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (formerly the Executive Producer of The Daily Show) is the unlikely co-writer of The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. Comedian Seth Morris acts as God’s loudspeaker to bring us this excerpt.
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Photo credit Albert L. Ortega
The Man Behind the Mask: Actor and Mime Doug Jones

Doug Jones is a film actor who got his first dramatic training as a mime. He's since gone on to star in a number of blockbuster films over the years, though you may not recognize his face. He is the man underneath the make-up in many of Guillermo Del Toro's films, playing numerous characters in the Hellboy series, and the title character in Pan's Labyrinth (as well as the horrific Pale Man). He's often recognized for his unique physique, including long spindly fingers. You might also know him as the Silver Surfer in the second Fantastic Four film.

Doug talks his unlikely career as a monster movie star, his dedication to the physicality of a role, as well as his new book that hearkens back to his original performances days as a mime, called Mime Very Own Book.
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The Outshot: “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke

For this week's Outshot, Jesse recommends the simplistic soul sound of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," from the R&B singer's self-titled 1957 album.
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