Samuel Harrison wasn't always "Singing Sam."
Born and raised in a tough section of Inkster, he married and raised five kids. He made money "hustling" on the street, which sometimes landed him in trouble. He eventually gave that up and made his way doing odd jobs like painting homes and shoveling snow.
In time, his kids grew up. He divorced. He eventually found himself homeless, on and off. Life has a way of getting bumpy. He says he currently resides in a low-priced hotel in the city.
For the past year and half, Harrison, 58, who goes by the name "Singing Sam," says he's been earning money singing on the streets, taking donations.
On any given day, you can find him performing somewhere in the city with a small amplifier, microphone and a mini-computer tablet that has his background music on it. He says his pastor gave him the amplifier and someone else gave him the tablet.
He said he'd been singing for years in church and other places, but never realized until recently he could make money from using his voice. In 2009, he cut a cd, "Straight From God," but never made much money from that.
You can listen to a sampling or purchase songs on CDBaby.com, Amazon and iTunes. (The album displays his stage name, "Singin' Sam," minus the second g in singing. His Facebook says "Singing Sam." He prefers the latter.)
Deadline Detroit stopped by Eastern Market Saturday morning to talk to Singing Sam. He talks about his gig in the video above. In the one below, he sings a Christmas tune.