With vocals unlike any before or after, Sam Cooke was another of the divine born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
A savvy composer and performer, he had twenty-nine Top-40 hits between 1957 and 1964. Almost all recognizable with anyone having the dexterity with a radio knob.
His time on earth would end at age 33 on December 11, 1964, in circumstances dubious to this day. Shot down in self-defense by Bertha Franklin, manager of the Hacienda Motel in downtown Los Angeles, Cooke was found in her office-apartment wearing a sports jacket and shoes, period. And maybe it was just one shoe. He was shot once in the torso, dying there with his last words, "Lady, you shot me."
There is a mystery woman, Elisa Boyer who had been with Cooke moments before in supposedly strange and violent circumstances. Others believe the great singer was murdered in a decade of great murders.
What is known is Cooke's funeral in Chicago had fans strung out for four city blocks, and his music has never stopped.