The life and music of Sam Cooke, soul’s first superstar, are examined in the critically lauded Sam Cooke: Legend, the Grammy® Award winning feature documentary from ABKCO Films. The 66-minute film examines the extraordinary career and tells the real story of his life through first-person accounts from family, childhood friends, musical collaborators and business associates along with Sam Cooke himself. Originally released in 2003, it has long been out of print; it will be reissued on DVD April 30 and can be pre-ordered now: Pre-Order on DVD Sam Cooke: Legend (Official Trailer).
With the success of the film One Night In Miami, directed by Regina King, focus on the life of Cooke, portrayed in the film by Leslie Odom Jr., has grown exponentially. Sam Cooke: Legend traces both Cooke’s professional and personal life – from his gospel-singing roots in the early 1950’s through his R&B and pop music career to his untimely death in 1964. It was available for streaming through Amazon Prime earlier this year in celebration of the soul icon’s 90th birthday.
The forthcoming DVD re-release includes extra content providing additional insight into the life and legacy of Sam Cooke. The film recounts his commitment to the struggle for civil rights, underscored by his last and most enduring hit song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” as well as his transcendent and consummate popular appeal. Sam Cooke: Legend was awarded a Grammy in 2004 in the Best Long Form Video (since renamed Best Music Film) category.
One of the highlights includes archival newsreel footage of Cassius Clay, the jubilant newly-crowned heavy weight champion, spotting Sam Cooke in the crowd and inviting him into the ring exclaiming, “Let that man up! This is Sam Cooke! This is the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll singer!” That same frantic and scenario is depicted, almost scene for scene, in One Night In Miami.
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