Last light, Stone Steps © Robert Sommers 2023

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Jesus Gave Me Water

I was listening to this Sam Cooke song the other day and was astounded by his beautiful voice. This 1951 song was Cooke's first single after joining the Soul Stirrers in 1950. In 1956 he crossed over to secular music with great success. Cooke was murdered by a motel manager in Los Angeles in 1964.

1 comment:

Scrota said...

Have always wondered about the 'setup' that night and reread the information
from the inquest and aftermath. It seems the motel manager, who was black, had been a madam before and the lowdown motel must have been proposed by the girl, who was multi-racial, who Cooke picked up at the restaurant. A month later she was booked for prostitution.

There are conflicting accounts of when they met, at a dinner party before, or at that restaurant. She was sitting with a friend of Cooke's. Cooke's friends all said he was flashing a lot of cash, say $5000 at the bar. Needless to say he was innebriated and still was able to drive the Ferrari down the freeway to the motel near the airport, passing up much finer places, giving rise to the idea the girl was navigating. When they checked in Cooke was told by the manager they would have to sign in as husband and wife, as she saw the girl in the car. The girl's story after the fact was that she protested going anywhere but her home, but she never jumped out of the car until they entered the motel room.

Her protestations to the contrary, what transpired next was as Cooke stepped into the
bathroom naked, she grabbed all his clothes and hers and ran. I don't believe she was too far away when the shots were fired, as Cooke broke into the office searching for the girl and tried to wrestle the gun out of the manager's hand. He was wearing only his sport coat and one shoe, and died that way. The inquest actually had the manager and the girl testifying. Because she was so quick to go for a gun, I believe the manager knew what was going to happen and was ready in case she got involved.

And I believe the only conspriracy that night was the age-old rolling a drunk by the
girl and manager, without accomplices. No charges were leveled and ruled justifiable homicide. None of the supposed $5000 turned up. Terrible end that motivated tens of thousands to attend both memorials.