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You Send Me

"You Send Me"
Single by Sam Cooke
from the album Songs by Sam Cooke
B-side "Summertime"
Released September 7, 1957
Format 7"
Recorded June 1, 1957
Radio Recorders
(Hollywood, California)
Genre Rhythm and blues, soul, traditional pop
Length 2:41
Label Keen
Writer(s) credited to L.C. Cook but actually written by Sam Cooke
Producer(s) Bumps Blackwell
Sam Cooke singles chronology
"You Send Me"
"I'll Come Running Back to You"

"You Send Me" is a song by American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, released on September 7, 1957 by Keen Records. Produced by Bumps Blackwell and arranged and conducted by René Hall, the song was the A-side to "Summertime". The song, Cooke's debut single, was a massive commercial success, becoming a number one hit on both Billboard‍‍ '​‍s Rhythm & Blues Records chart and the Billboard Hot 100.

It was named as one of the 500 most important rock and roll recordings by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In April 2010, the song ranked #115 in Rolling Stone magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1]


  • Background 1
  • Acclaim 2
  • Covers 3
  • Chart performance 4
    • Teresa Brewer version 4.1
    • Sam Cooke version 4.2
    • Aretha Franklin version 4.3
    • Ponderosa Twins Plus One version 4.4
    • The Manhattans version 4.5
  • Personnel 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Cooke wrote "You Send Me" but gave the writer credit to his younger brother L.C. (who used the original family spelling "Cook") because he didn't want his own publisher to profit from the song.[2] He had also hoped L.C. would record the song himself.[3] Cooke made a demo recording of the song featuring only his own guitar accompaniment in the winter of 1955. The first recording of the track was made in New Orleans in December 1956 in the same sessions which produced "Lovable", the first release outside the gospel field for Cooke (credited on that single as Dale Cook). The classic version of "You Send Me" was cut in Los Angeles in June 1957 and was issued as a single with another track from the same session: a version of "Summertime", as the debut release on the Keen label[4] founded by Bob Keane; this release marked the first single credited to "Sam Cooke" (whose true surname was Cook). Although "Summertime" was the intended A-side, disc jockeys favored "You Send Me" which broke nationally that October to reach #1 for a two-week stay in December 1957, with sales estimated at a 1.5 million units. "Overnight, with a single song, Sam Cooke" - who had spent the summer of 1957 living in his producer's apartment - "became a secular superstar, with audiences consisting of black and white, men and women, young and old."[5]

As was common practice in the 1950s when it was unusual for hits in the black R&B market to crossover to the Pop charts, a cover version of "You Send Me" aimed at the Pop charts was cut by the white singer Teresa Brewer[4] and released in October 1957. Symptomatic of the changing music scene, Cooke's original was able to repeat its #1 R&B chart performance in the Pop field, eclipsing Brewer's version. However Brewer's version of "You Send Me" reached as high as #8 representing a strong improvement over her five prior single releases, although "You Send Me" would prove to be Brewer's final Top 20 hit.[6]


Since its release, the song has become a landmark record of the soul genre, which Cooke helped create. It was named as one of the 500 most important rock and roll recordings by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005, the song was voted #115 by representatives of the music industry and press in Rolling Stone magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


"You Send Me" has been covered by a number of artists, including Michael Bolton, Nat King Cole, The Drifters, The Everly Brothers, The Four Seasons, Bobby Vee, José Feliciano, Aretha Franklin, Steven Houghton, Nicolette Larson, Steve Miller Band, Van Morrison, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge, Roy Ayers, Paul & Paula, The Supremes, The Manhattans, Rachelle Ferrell, Marcia Hines, Ponderosa Twins Plus One and Lynda Carter from At Last (2009). In the United Kingdom, Rod Stewart released "You Send Me" as part of a medley with "Bring It on Home to Me" and charted it on the UK Singles Chart at #7 as a double A-side with "Farewell". The Dixie Chicks released their version of the song on their 1992 independent release, "Little Ol' Cowgirl".

Chart performance

Teresa Brewer version

Year Chart Position
1957 Pop Singles Chart 8

Sam Cooke version

Year Chart Position
1957 Black Singles Chart 1
Pop Singles Chart 1
1958 UK Singles Chart 29

Aretha Franklin version

Year Chart Position
1968 Black Singles Chart 28
Pop Singles Chart 56

Ponderosa Twins Plus One version

Year Chart Position
1971 Best Selling Soul Singles 23[7]

The Manhattans version

Year Chart Position
1985 Black Singles Chart 20
Pop Singles Chart 81
Adult Contemporary 8



  1. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke by Peter Guralnick
  4. ^ a b  
  5. ^ Gulla, Bob (2008). Icons of R&B. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 114–116.  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ "Soul Singles chart".  
  • Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964. Abkco Records, 2003. Los Angeles, California.
  • Wolff, Daniel J., S.R. Crain, Clifton White, and G. David Tenenbaum (1995). You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke. William Morrow & Co.  

External links

Preceded by
"Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

November 30, 1957–December 14, 1957
Succeeded by
"Raunchy" by Bill Justis
Preceded by
"Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley
Billboard Top 100 number one single
December 16, 1957 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"April Love" by Pat Boone
Preceded by
"Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley
Billboard R&B Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
November 25, 1957 - December 30, 1957 (six weeks)
Succeeded by
"At the Hop" by Danny & The Juniors
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