Sam Cooke Biopic Finally Being Developed

A film about the legendary Sam Cooke is in the works. Producer Romeo Antonio made a deal with Cooke’s family, which will enable him the right to create the movie project. Mary Krell-Oishi is writing the script for the biopic, which will hopefully bring truth to how the legendary singer was murdered. Cooke was shot and killed by motel manager, Bertha Franklin, after the singer and Franklin got into a physical altercation. Franklin wasn’t charged in the death of Cooke, after the shooting was deemed a justifiable homicide. 

Cooke’s family and friends never believed the story that the singer was somehow involved in a physical altercation with Franklin. The family believes Cooke’s death was related to his role in the Civil Rights Movement, and Cooke’s business relationships with music executives, who were connected to the mob, could have also contributed to his death. “For years, people have been coming at us to do a movie about Sam. But he [Antonio] was the first person who sounded like he wanted what we wanted [which is for] the truth to come out about my uncle and his death,” said Cooke’s nephew Eugene Jamison. Antonio said the biopic is going to center around the death of Cooke, and the script will be written like a murder investigative film. 

Sam Cooke was one of the most successful singers of his generation. Cooke, also referred to as the King of Soul, pioneered the rise of soul music into mainstream America. Sam Cooke had a string of hits in the 1950s and 1960s, including “You Send Me,” “Twistin’ the Night Away,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and “Cupid.” The iconic singer had a total of thirty songs reach the Billboard Top 40 in just a seven year span. During his career, released twelve studio albums including Songs of Sam Cooke, Encore, Tribute to the Lady, My Kind of Blues, Mr. Soul, and Ain’t That Good News. 

In 1961, Cooke formed his own record label, publishing company, and management firm. The icon was also very instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement, and his song “A Change Is Gonna Come” helped bring awareness to the injustices black people were experiencing in America. In 2007, “A Change Is Gonna Come” was preserved in the Library of Congress (with the National Recording Registry) deeming the song as culturally and historically important. 

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