MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF SAM COOKE:
Cooke was born in Clarksdale, MS. On Jan. 22, 1931. He started singing
in his father's church and would later embark on a singing career with the legendary
gospel group "The Soul Stirrers." After several successful years,
Cooke decided to leave the group and focus on a solo career in Pop and R&B.
first effort was a self-penned tune entitled "You Send Me," which would sell
1.7 million units and top the Pop and R& B charts. Cooke continued to sing,
produce, write and arrange. Cooke
had a succession of number one hits which included: Cupid, Twisting The Night
Away, Chain Gang and Having A Party. In 1958, Cooke would place five songs
on Billboards Top 100 chart, he was second to Elvis Presley in record sales. He had enormous crossover appeal and he would send women in a frenzy with his
mesmerizing voice, sexy good looks and undeniable sex appeal.
was being hailed as the creator of soul music and he became the first R&B
legend to reach global status, he translated soul music into sophisticated higher
paying markets. He encouraged younger artists Aretha Franklin and Smokey
Robinson to follow his lead. He also did outside production work for Johnny
Taylor, The Shirelles and his protege, Bobby Womack.
1959, Cooke married his childhood sweetheart Barbara. They had three children
over the next four years. Cooke moved his family into a beautiful Hollywood
Hills home, he also purchased a Ferrari. Happiness was short-lived, Cooke's
eighteen month son Vincent drowned in the family pool. The marriage became
strained and the Cooke's separated.
immersed himself in his business ventures, he made history by becoming the first
African-American who fought for and received his songwriting and publishing
rights. He also founded his own record label, owned the company that manufactured
his records and he purchased a beer brewery in Baltimore. These feats
were unheard of for an African-American in the 1960's.
1964, Cooke was on top of the world professionally, his greatest hits album
stayed on the charts nine months and 29 of his songs had become Top 40 hits. Cooke was extremely wealthy due to his career and numerous business interests.
Dec. 11, 1964, Cooke was approached by shadowy figures who wanted to buy into
his lucrative businesses. Sam declined the offer by saying, 'I like being
my own man.' Later that evening, Cooke left a popular night club with
a beautiful Euro Asian woman named Lisa Boyer (above). According to Boyer, Cooke
drove her to a seedy motel in South Central and tried to rape her, when she
broke free, Cooke allegedly chased her through the courtyard.
reached the manager's office, Cooke stormed in behind her. The motel manager
Bertha Franklin (above) was frightened by Cooke's irrational behavior, she would pull
out a gun and shoot him four times, he would die instantly. This was the
official story fed to the media outlets around the world.
a brief trial, the jury deliberated for fifteen minutes and came back with a
verdict of justifiable homicide. Bertha Franklin and Lisa Boyer were free.
Cooke family hired an private investigator who uncovered the following facts:
had dated Lisa Boyer three weeks prior to his murder despite the fact that numerous
people warned him about her colorful past which included prostitution. If Cooke was dating her, why would he try to rape her?
Etta James revealed in her book "Rage To Survive," that Cooke was so badly beaten
that his head was decapitated from his shoulders, his hands were broken and
crushed, his nose was smashed and he had a two inch bump on his head. These injuries were never explained and a woman could not inflict these type
Franklin had a .32 registered in her name yet she killed Cooke with a .22, she
would move to Michigan and die eighteen months later.
Boyer would be arrested for prostitution one month after Cookes death and in
1979 she would be found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death
of her boyfriend.
Otis Redding would die four years later on the exact day that Sam Cooke was
Cooke's widow married Bobby Womack three months after his death. They have since divorced.
sold the Sam Cooke publishing catalogue to a Jewish businessman for a mere $103,000. This catalogue currently generates $3-5 million per year.
Cooke accomplished more in seven years (1957-1964) than most artists accomplish
in their entire careers. He was one of the first singers to be inducted
into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
"You Send Me: The Life And Times Of Same Cooke" by Daniel Wolff, S.R.
Crain, Clifton White and G. David Tenenbaum.