From Beth Schiller Patterson: Just finished watching “Remastered: “The Two Killings of Sam Cooke.” Sam was not only a gifted singer and songwriter, but also an activist in the burgeoning Civil Rights movement.
He was murdered in 1965 — around the same time as the murders of Malcom X and Medgar Evers. Sadly, Cooke’s death was never really investigated. I highly recommend watching this powerful documentary (streaming on Netflix).
While Sam Cooke rose to stardom as a soul singer, his outspoken views on civil rights drew attention that may have contributed to his death at age 33.
Onstage, Sam Cooke was a dynamic star. Offstage, he was a vital voice for civil rights. And his tragic death still raises questions decades later.
Photo: Sam Cooke in 1963 (by RCA Victor Records – Billboard page 21, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/)