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> Music & Dance

From Chicago’s South Side to Pop Music Stardom: Nat “King” Cole and Sam Cooke   

Twelve years apart in age, Nathaniel Coles and Samuel Cook had much in common. Both were born in the Deep South, and both moved to Chicago as young children. Both attended Wendell Phillips High School in the heart of the Windy City’s “black belt.” Both found success as members of ensembles outside popular music (Cole with jazz, Cooke with gospel). And, both left their original music genres to launch solo careers in mainstream popular song. There, they both enjoyed immense fame and critical acclaim – but also struggled with racism. Both died young and tragically (Cole at 45, Cooke at 33). In this class Mike Homel takes us through the turbulent lives and magnificent music of two outstanding performers in post-World War II America.

(Please note the 9:30 a.m. start time of this class.)

     Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University. He specializes in 20th century American history and American urban history. He is the author of Unlocking City Hall: Exploring the History of Local Government and Politics and other publications on urban politics and education.


  • From Chicago’s South Side to Pop Music Stardom: Nat “King” Cole and Sam Cooke
    Dates: 5/11/2022 - 5/11/2022

  • ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THIS CLASS IS CLOSED. If you are trying to register the day before this class starts or the day of the class, please email or call the office so we can register you over the phone and send you the Zoom Link. Thank you!
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