Sam Cooke Bio-Movie

Change is Gonna Come to a Movie Near You

Photo of Sam Cooke

And a change indeed it will be. Unlike other biographies, often unauthorized, the family of Sam Cooke, supports and have given their permission for the movie, “Sam Cooke: The Truth” to be made about him. Will there be a whole lot of singing? We don’t know. Will there be a step-by-step timeline of his beginnings to his stardom? We doubt it. This movie, unlike most music biopics that we’ve seen in the past (Ray, Cadillac Records, Lady Sings the Blues), will focus on Sam Cooke’s death and the suspicions that led up to and followed. This is sorta like a murder mystery. Okay… it is a murder mystery.

“For years, people have been coming at us to do a movie about Sam. But [Antonio] was the first person who sounded like he wanted what we wanted: the truth to come out about my uncle and his death,” Eugene Jamison, Cooke’s cousin, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The family still believes that 33 year old Cooke’s death, was a part of a conspiracy and that he was targeted because of his role in the Civil Rights Movement and the he record label’s mob ties. His cousin Eugene, and brother L.C. will consult on the movie, even providing family documents to support the story.

It does have the makings of the perfect game of CLUE.

Let’s Review The Alleged Case:

  • During dinner with producer & wife, Sam met a young Asian woman, Elisa Boyer and left with her
  • They went to a nightclub afterwards and got into an altercation with a guy hitting on Boyer
  • Sam and Boyer leave the nightclub and Sam speeds to a motel (allegedly, against Boyer’s will)
  • The motel manager, seeing Boyer in the car, will only rent if he checks in as Mr. & Mrs
  • Boyer sneaks out of the motel with hers and Sam’s clothing and calls the police to report kidnap attempt
  • The night of his death, a woman called police saying she was almost kidnapped by Sam
  • With only one shoe and a sports jacket, Sam ran out to find Boyer
  • Sam bangs on manager Franklin’s door demanding to know if Boyer is there
  • Franklin insists that Boyer isn’t there but Sam rams the door with his shoulder and enters
  • Franklin and Cooke tussle after Sam grabs her wrist and asks again for the girl
  • Franklin grabs the pistol from the TV and shoots 3 times, killing Sam dead
Motel Manager, Bertha Franklin, after shooting Sam.

Motel Manager, Bertha Franklin, after shooting Sam.

Boyer and Franklin testified that Sam was the aggressor, so his death was deemed a “justifiable homicide.” Sam’s lawyer was barely allowed to ask question during the trial and the Coroner’s tests showed that although a .08 blood alcohol level is considered too drunk to drive, Sam’s blood alcohol was .016 at the time of his death – (Double). Boyer, who testified that she was held against her will, didn’t explain why she didn’t escape when Cooke left her alone in the car to check in to the hotel or why if Sam intended to rape her, as she claimed, why did he check in with his own name?

Boyer testifying at trial

Boyer testifying at Murder Trail of Sam Cooke

One month later, she was arrested for prostitution and more clues about the confusing death started to surface: Motel Hacienda was a well known place frequented by prostitutes. Motel manager, Franklin, was an ex-Madam. Cooke’s credit cards were never recovered and Boyer stuck to her story that she grabbed his clothing accidentally. (*Or she scammed him and never thought that he would chase her, while naked, and be so furious)

Cooke - Hacienda-Motel

We’ll be watching to see how much of the truth is exposed. We’re also curious about the casting…. hmmm.

Photo of Sam Cooke

Who do you think will make a good Sam Cooke?