44 Facts About Sam Cooke


Samuel Cook, known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer and songwriter.


Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and later relocated to Chicago with his family at a young age, where he began singing as a child and joined the Soul Stirrers as lead singer in the 1950s.


In 1964, Sam Cooke was shot and killed by the manager of a motel in Los Angeles.


Sam Cooke's family has since questioned the circumstances of his death.


AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Sam Cooke was "the inventor of soul music", and possessed "an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed".


Sam Cooke was a central part of the civil rights movement, using his influence and popularity with the White and Black populations to fight for the cause.


Sam Cooke was friends with boxer Muhammad Ali, activist Malcolm X and football player Jim Brown, who together campaigned for racial equality.

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Sam Cooke was born Samuel Cook in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1931.


Sam Cooke was the fifth of eight children of the Rev Charles Cook, a minister in the Church of Christ, and his wife, Annie Mae.


Sam Cooke began his career with his siblings in a group called the Singing Children when he was six years old.


In 1950, Cooke replaced gospel tenor R H Harris as lead singer of his gospel group the Soul Stirrers, who had signed with Specialty Records on behalf of the group.


Sam Cooke was often credited for bringing gospel music to the attention of a younger crowd of listeners, mainly girls who would rush to the stage when the Soul Stirrers hit the stage just to get a glimpse of Sam Cooke.


Sam Cooke had 30 US top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously.


Sam Cooke was among the first modern Black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career.


Sam Cooke founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer.


Sam Cooke took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.


When Rupe walked in on a recording session and heard Sam Cooke singing Gershwin, he was quite upset.


Sam Cooke later admitted he got an endorsement for a career in pop music from the least likely man, his pastor father.


In 1957, Sam Cooke appeared on ABC's The Guy Mitchell Show.


In 1958, Sam Cooke performed for the famed Cavalcade of Jazz concert produced by Leon Hefflin Sr.


Sam Cooke then created a publishing imprint and management firm named Kags.


Sam Cooke was a prolific songwriter and wrote most of the songs he recorded.


Sam Cooke had a hand in overseeing some of the song arrangements.


In 1963, Sam Cooke signed a five-year contract for Allen Klein to manage Kags Music and SAR Records and made him his manager.


For tax reasons, Sam Cooke would receive preferred stock in Tracey instead of an initial cash advance of $100,000.

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Sam Cooke would receive cash advances of $100,000 for the next two years, followed by an additional $75,000 for each of the two option years if the deal went to term.


Sam Cooke was killed in an auto collision in Fresno, California in 1959.


In 1958, Sam Cooke married his second wife, Barbara Campbell, in Chicago.


Sam Cooke fathered at least three other children out of wedlock.


In 1958, a woman in Philadelphia, Connie Bolling, claimed Sam Cooke was the father of her son.


Sam Cooke paid her an estimated $5,000 settlement out of court.


In November 1958, Sam Cooke was involved in a car accident en route from St Louis to Greenville.


Sam Cooke was killed at the age of 33 on December 11,1964, at the Hacienda Motel, in South Central Los Angeles, California, located at 91st and South Figueroa Street.


Sam Cooke had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, which was later determined to have pierced his heart.


The police record states that Franklin fatally shot Sam Cooke, who had checked in earlier that evening.


Sam Cooke said she hit him in the head with a broomstick before he finally fell to the floor and died.


Sam Cooke said she then put her clothes back on, hid Cooke's clothing, went to a telephone booth, and called the police.


However, a search of Boyer's purse by police revealed nothing except a $20 bill, and a search of Sam Cooke's Ferrari found only a money clip with $108, as well as a few loose coins near the ashtray.


Sam Cooke wrote that the injuries she observed were well beyond the official account of Cooke having fought Franklin alone.


James wrote that Sam Cooke was so badly beaten that his head was nearly separated from his shoulders, his hands were broken and crushed, and his nose mangled.


Sam Cooke was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.


Sam Cooke left her position at the Hacienda Motel and did not publicly disclose where she had moved.


Sam Cooke's lawsuit sought $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.


Sam Cooke was portrayed by Paul Mooney in The Buddy Holly Story, a 1978 American biographical film which tells the life story of rock musician Buddy Holly.