This was written by Sam Cooke's brother Charles "LC" Cooke. In the '40s, the brothers sang in their family gospel group, The Singing Children.
Cooke was signed to Specialty Records, which was a gospel label. Cooke's producer, Bumps Blackwell, brought this to Art Rupe, who owned the label. Rupe objected to the use of the choir on this track and was afraid it was too secular and would alienate the label's gospel fans. He offered Cooke a release from his contract in exchange for outstanding royalties. The song was passed to the Keen label where it sold over 2 million copies.
In Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Times issue, Art Garfunkel said: "I must have sung 'You Send Me' to myself walking up and down stairwells at least a thousand times. It was on the charts right when I was having my first little success with Paul Simon as Tom and Jerry. I was just a kid, calling on radio stations for promotional purposes, and all I heard was 'You Send Me.' Sam was great to sing along with. He was my hero."