Sunday, April 4, 2010


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.



The masters — who went through many transformations as a gospel group and by name. First formed by Charles Jeter, a coal miner from West Virginia, with a tenor voice that could lullaby a bear to sleep. The final name the group landed on, gorgeous, was a combination of their sponsor "Swan Bakeries" and Jeter's earlier group the "Silvertone Singers". The Swan Silvertones choired the radio airwaves and charts through the 40s, 50s and 60s with their tenor, crooner, field shouter, and other singing associates spelling magic. Jeter would leave the group for the ministry in 1965. Listening to this song, some would say, he was always there.