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Sam Cooke - Legend
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- Region 0 (NTSC format)
- Additional interviews with Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Luigi Creatore, Lloyd Price, Lou Adler, Linda Cooke-Womack (Zorilyn), L.C. Cooke, Charles Cooke, Agnes Cook-Hoskins, and Magnificent Montague
Top Customer Reviews
Many fans are familiar with Cooke's spectacular singing but few know of the important role he played in the Civil Rights Movement. We find out here that he was one of the first, if not THE first, artists to refuse to play to segregated audiences. We find out how he was one of the first prominent African-Americans to let his hair grow natural instead of slicking it down to appear white. We find out about the record company he started to help young African-Americans, who might be passed over by the majors, get a chance. We find out that Cooke was one of the first performers in all of pop music to acquire ownership of his own recordings (still unheard of today).
But the real meat here focuses on Cooke's mastery as a musician. The amazingly perceptive interviews manage to explain not only Cooke's importance in both gospel and pop but actually contain insight into how he did it.
Plus there's a slew of great performance footage of Cooke singing classics like "Twistin' the Night Away", "The Riddle Song", "You Send Me" and a funny, lip synched duet with Jackie Wilson on "Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha". Plus, there's some great film of Cooke hanging out with Muhammed Ali including the two harmonizing on "The Gang's All Here". Cooke was a crucial influence on Ali's life and thinking.
The DVD also contains some worthy extras. There are more than two hours of worth of expanded interviews.Read more ›
Nice vintage footage included, and the first time for me to see Sam in action. On the negative side:
First, in typical A&E fashion, the majority of interviewed segments are total fluff..."he had so much charisma, the room would erupt, people went crazy, he was the complete package, I never knew anyone else like him, I knew he had something special" blah blah blab that you hear in every A&E biography of a deceased star. We know all that, he was great. There is no negativity whatsoever, yet minimal substance at the same time.
Two: length. Get the expanded edition or you're stuck with a quick 1 hour show.
Three: total gloss over of his death. Look on the internet for the more in-depth story of the shooting. They skim over this occurance without much dirt on why the married Sam Cooke had a woman back at his room anyway, and why a woman pulled a trigger on such a seemingly otherwise perfect guy.
Four: if you are going to license the minimal TV footage of him in existence, it would be nice to not have it talked over, and so brief. I would prefer to see the uncut footage as a DVD extra feature, not 2 hours of repeated story interviews instead. I want to SEE the man perform, not hear about it second hand.
Otherwise, a good product in a nutshell, but I feel it is also far from complete or as good as it could have been.
Through interviews with family and friends we get a view of his life from an early age, through the Soul Stirrers and his solo work up to his unfortunate death.
We see and hear his brother and sister, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls and many more. The docu has been written by Peter Guralnick who has just released a 650 page biography on him in october of 2005.
There is also some footage of Sam in action in various tv-shows and that is the best because there really isn't much around. It would have been nice to add those shows in total as a bonus but the 70 minutes of documentary we have now is perfect for people who don't want to be one of the two extensive biographies yet but want to get a good view of what he was like. And he was more than just the interpreter of songs. He wrote them, produced other artists and was an allround business man.
Of course his death is being talked about too, but don't expect the final solution for that, that will probably never come.
It's the only real documentary on him out there but it's worth buying.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well done and talks by others in the industry at the time of Sam Cooke ....Published 11 months ago by george rybolt
This DVD was all that I ex I watched it with him expected. I already had one, but my uncle came by and he wanted a copy of his own, so I bought it for him. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Louistine Lindsey
As a long time fan of Sam Cooke, this was very interesting and it highlighted his business drive as we'll as his musical genius.Published 20 months ago by Chris Knox
I really liked this movie. It's a shame he died the way that he did.Published 22 months ago by Denise Reid