ETTA JAMES & SAM COOKE:

Etta James reveals in her book, “Rage To Survive,” that Minnesota Fats (famous pool shark) was her father. She also talks about the special friendship she shared with Sam Cooke. “Me and Sam were walking from the parking lot into the California Club, we had to pass this little alley.

Sam stopped and said, “Wait here, I’ll be right back.” He strolled back to the alley and started shaking hands with all the bums. They loved him. He knew a lot of their names and they knew all of his songs. When one offered Sam a sip of wine, he didn’t hesitate. Sam reached right down, took the bottle in his hand and turned it up to his mouth and took a big swig. He gave you the impression that he was blessed to be Sam Cooke but he was always for the underdog in ways that weren’t showy.

Sam was also smart; he understood that ownership was the name of the game. He wanted to control his own record company and publishing and he wanted to cut the wiseguys out. I was devastated when he was murdered. “One theory is-that someone slipped him a mickey (drug).

No woman could have inflicted the injuries he suffered; I figured that the mickey had worn off at some point. That’s when Sam started struggling with the guys who were trying to kill him. They beat him and shot him and concocted this far-out story that no reasonable person could believe. At his inquest, they argued that Sam was drunk but when they tried to determine what was in Sam’s body, the court refused to hear the evidence, calling it irrelevant. The mickey would have led to more questions, questions that couldn’t be answered.”

 

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