Zelda Sands, songwriter, Sam Cooke’s office environment manager, dead at 92

One particular of the very last backlinks to one particular of Chicago’s greatest singers has died.

Zelda Sands, an achieved songwriter who managed the workplaces of Sam Cooke’s record and publishing firms, “broke a person glass ceiling after the other,” said G. David Tenenbaum, a Chicago indigenous and co-creator of the book “You Send Me: The Daily life and Situations of Sam Cooke.”

Singer Mel Carter stated he discovered Ms. Sands, 92, unresponsive Saturday at her condominium in Hollywood, Calif.

She was a friend and former manager of Carter, who recorded hits which include “Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me.”

Zelda Sands and singer Mel Carter, whose career she managed for many years.
Donald Piper

A lyricist, she wrote less than her start identify — Zelda Samuels — and her professional title Zelda Sands, according to Donald Piper, president of the Sam Cooke Admirer Club.

Ms. Sands composed the phrases to “Lookin’ for a Like,” which was recorded by the Valentinos, Bobby Womack, Sam Moore, Rod Stewart, Squeeze, Rufus Thomas and The J. Geils Band, whose variation was featured in the 1985 film “The Falcon and the Snowman.” She helped publish Cooke’s “Talkin’ Trash,” Irma Thomas’ “I Haven’t Bought Time to Cry” and “Dancin’ Holiday,” recorded by Carter and also by the Miracles.

With Jackie DeShannon, she wrote “Hark, is That a Cannon I Hear?” for Bobby Vee. She also aided produce “You’re Just What I Required,” recorded by Chubby Checker, “Dancin’ Vacation,” recorded by the Olympics and the Miracles, and “After the Parting,” recorded by Carter and by Patti Website page.

“She had a perception as a lyricist for what labored, for what would make a good tale for a music, “ Piper mentioned.

Cooke, a Wendell Phillips Substantial College alum, employed Ms. Sands to handle the Los Angeles places of work for his SAR record business and its Derby division as nicely as his publishing corporation Kags Songs, according to Tenenbaum and Piper. Cooke was a single of the 1st performers to have his report and publishing providers.

Lots of adult males in the 1960s new music business underestimated Ms. Sands because of her elegance, Carter claimed. They didn’t discover how challenging she labored to guard Cooke’s interests, according to Piper and Tenenbaum.

“She experienced a actually fantastic enterprise feeling,” Tenenbaum claimed. “She understood how to run it — how to get royalties, how to get compensated by the distributors and how to get disc jockeys to engage in the records.”

“Zelda was generating the rounds in Hollywood a single working day and talked to Wink Martindale,” a radio disc jockey, Piper stated.

The station experienced been taking part in one of Cooke’s singles — “Farewell My Darling” — but it was underperforming. Piper explained Ms. Sands “suggested he flip it about.”

The flip aspect, “Cupid,” grew to become a monster strike.

Her buddies said Ms. Sands, a Brooklyn native, was proficient at preserving Mr. Cooke’s copyrights mainly because of her songs business experience. She’d once worked in the offices of “Chicago” composer Fred Fisher in New York’s famed Brill Constructing, an incubator for songwriters and artists. She started off out as a secretary for Coral Information, a subsidiary of Decca, Piper said.

Cooke was a member of the Soul Stirrers, a famous gospel team that performed at many Black church buildings in Chicago. He went on to fame with a string of hits that also included “Another Saturday Evening,” “Chain Gang,” “Having a Social gathering,” “Only Sixteen,” “Twistin’ the Evening Away” and “You Deliver Me.” His “A Change is Gonna Come” is deemed a civil legal rights anthem.

Zelda Sands standing in front of a TV playing a documentary for which she was interviewed, “Lady You Shot Me: the Life and Times of Sam Cooke.”

Zelda Sands standing in entrance of a Tv playing a documentary for which she was interviewed, “Lady You Shot Me: the Lifestyle and Moments of Sam Cooke.”
Donald Piper

Ms. Sands normally questioned the ruling of justifiable homicide in Cooke’s fatal 1964 taking pictures by a Los Angeles motel clerk who stated he attacked her.

“She claimed she didn’t know who he was, which is a stone-a– lie,” Ms. Sands explained in the documentary “Lady You Shot Me: the Lifestyle and Loss of life of Sam Cooke.”

Ms. Sands was a grandchild of Russian Jewish immigrants, according to Piper.

“She was a thing,” Piper said. “She was very independent, just desired to be out on her very own.”

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