The Two Killings of Sam Cooke: THE BLATANT DISCREPANCIES IN THE MURDER TRIAL OF SAM COOKE THAT ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN CAN SEE

If you watched One Night in Miami and became interested in how Sam Cooke was murdered like I was, you will probably be interested in this:

The Two Killings of Sam Cooke, Great Netflix documentary for those interested in what happened to this legendary singer

The Two Killings of Sam Cooke, Sam Cooke’s murder trial

Sam Cooke’s family at the inquest.
It is said that Sam Cooke’s father asked Bertha Franklin why she killed his son and she reportedly replied, “I didn’t kill your son.”
Source: One More River to Cross: The Redemption of Sam Cooke by B.G Rhule

The previously mentioned Netflix documentary The Two Killings of Sam Cooke barely scratches the surface of the first murder of Sam Cooke which was the physical one but does with the second one which was the tarnishing of his reputation still smeared 60 plus years after his murder as I stated here. Below I will examine the “first murder” a continuation of LEARNING ABOUT SAM COOKE AND OTHER GREAT MEN OF COLOR THROUGH THE MOVIE One Night In Miami.

Everything that that hooker-prostitute ( Crystal Chen Young) and that female pimp aka Madame (Bertha Franklin) said should be discarded completely. The mob probably paid them off. The authorities should have checked Franklin’s bank account and see if there was any changes in her spending habit to see if she was paid an elaborate sum of money. Since they didn’t do that that indicates that they were also paid off by the mob. The hooker-prostitute got arrested for prostitution shortly after by an undercover officer and then she was arrested and jailed for murdering her boyfriend 7 years later (1979). Just like she lured Sam Cooke to his death. Gee, she must be no stranger to horrific deeds, having already, Cooke’s blood on her hands. 

If the hooker-prostitute didn’t play a key role in getting Sam Cooke murdered then she would just get up on that stand and just tell the truth. Why lie? Why tell this generic story that she tells anytime she gets into deep trouble with any man that he tried to kidnap her and raped her.  Makes it more difficult for any female that that actually happened to. Why lie? Unless the results of the trial was already pre-determined. They planned to let both those fall-females off the hook and the-brains-behind-the-operation too before the trial even begun. They only had the trial to say they had the trial.  It was an hastily concocted trial that did not actually solve Cook’s murder but disrespected his family and insulted them and his supporters’ intelligence. Both she and Franklin could not have passed a lie detector test. One doesn’t need a lie detector test to know they’re both lying. Especially the Asian hooker who is not as good of an actress as the Madame. Their stories don’t add up and makes no logical sense. So that means the lie detector test had to have been rigged if they ever took one. 

Sam Cooke was robbed then murdered, mob music industry attempted robbery and hit

Mafias aka the mob’s involvement in the music industry

Before I get started, if you haven’t watch the videos above you can read more about How The Mob Used Murder to Build Music Machine Empires Here with their ownership of the jukebox. This will provide insight into why Sam Cooke was murdered by them.

How do we know Cooke knew Boyer was a hooker? This is likely what happened: the hooker was paid and planted at the time and place they knew Sam was going to be. She likely threw herself at him and told him a lie or two. The first lie was probably that she was a dancer. The second one was that she wanted to go home. He gave her the benefit of the doubt. She give him a false address luring him into a location where a gangster-mob was waiting for him whereupon they beat him with an elongated object like a baseball bat probably while he was still in his Ferrari. Held a gun to his head and forced him out of his vehicle. Whereupon they proceeded to beat him in their attempts to extort him and when that was unsuccessful they shot and killed him in anger then robbed him of $3000 cash.  They figured that Sam Cooke isn’t going to give them any long-term cut or hand over his music publishing company so his income from one concert alone would have to suffice for the low-lives. Then they left $100 on him to deter people from thinking he was robbed. Because most people’s mind work like this: if all the money on Cooke isn’t missing then it wasn’t a robbery. WRONG!! That was a cold-blooded murder and higher-up robbery attempt relegated to a street robbery because Cooke refused to be extorted long-term. And they weren’t done yet. They now had to cover up their heinous crime. 

Sam Cooke was already dead when they took his body to Hacienda motel

A portion of Sam Cooke’s autopsy Medical Report
Source: One More River to Cross: The Redemption of Sam Cooke by B.G Rhule

They took his body to the Hacienda motel and Franklin checked him in using his real name and the mob paid her to fabricate a story that she shot him in self defense. She literally sat there and made up the whole story, with the mob mind you, in order to tell the police and/or the public. Elisa Boyer, whose real name is Crystal Chen Young, did not get paid because Franklin is her pimp so all the money went to her instead. Otherwise why would Boyer agree to have sex with an undercover officer for $40??? I don’t think Boyer only frequented that cheap motel, I think she actually lived there. Perhaps she had an agreement to live there with the motel manager who was her Madam/female pimp. The latter was Franklin’s primary occupation and the motel management position only was her supplemental income.   The motel was $3/night so she was scarcely making enough. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if that motel was owned by the mob. They take their killings there and frequently pay Franklin to cover them up. They can depend on her and in return they give her a steady stream of income that being a cheap-motel manager couldn’t give her. Hardly anyone was checking into that cheap sleazy motel much less Sam Cooke. In her office she was just making deals with the mob.  In fact she might has well had pulled the trigger on Sam Cooke herself, covering up his murder the way she did. She’s just as guilty as the ones who pulled the trigger. Also the mob used their ownership of the jukebox to exert force and control in the music industry, but where are the jukeboxes now? Obsolete. Bet they didn’t have the foresight to see that one coming.

Like B.G Rhule states, author of One More River to Cross: The Redemption of Sam Cooke, when the LAPD showed up at the crime scene, they immediately “declared the murder justifiable homicide and did not arrest Bertha Franklin, “no chalk drawings, and no examination or preservation of crime scene evidence.” Next time, I will be discussing Sam Cooke’s manager Allen Klein and speculations that he was behind his murder following Sam Cooke’s discovery that Klein was extorting huge sums of money as alleged in B. G Rhule’s book.

Disclaimers

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are simply those of the author: ME @howtobeasingersongwriter
My content is not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything!
Copyright 2021 @howtobeasingersongwriter

Sources

Sam Cooke’s 1964 Murder Case Needs Further Exploration – Radio Facts

How the Mafia used to control the music industry – Click Track: A Music Business Newsletter

The dark history of the jukebox: how the Mafia used murder to build music machine empires – Click Track: A Music Business Newsletter

Learning about Sam Cooke and other great men of color in the movie ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI on Amazon Prime

One Night In Miami movie poster

One Night In Miami, a fervent history lesson stretching far beyond Black History Month

The only one of the four alive: Jim Brown

The movie, One Night in Miami, is a history lesson. To be honest, I only knew about Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) but learned about Sam Cooke and Jim Brown by watching this movie. Maybe if I grew up in the United states, I would’ve known the last two without having to watch the movie to do so.

The most captivating soul songs that I used to hear all the time were sung by Sam Cooke such as🎵A change is gonna come I was born by the river 🎵 and 🎵cupid draw back your bow and let your arrow go straight to my lover’s heart for me 🎵

That I didn’t take the time to research these songs and find out who sung them is a mystery. Also, I always wondered who would be considered the greatest American football player and it was like this movie answered me and said Jim Brown. So I did research on both of them and just assumed that they’d have passed away but was genuinely shocked to find out that Jim Brown is actually still alive. So that was a relief for me. I enjoyed how Jim Brown was portrayed in this movie.

However, when I researched Sam Cooke it was the complete opposite of what I wanted to hear happened to him. That he was allegedly murdered by hotel manager and “ex” female pimp, Bertha Franklin following an altercation. Not to mention an allegation that he kidnapped a hooker and was going to rape her in the Hacienda hotel. His death was ruled “justifiable homicide” and as noted in this blog’s Introduction to Sam Cooke, would tarnish his reputation as a pop icon regardless of whether the ruling was true or not. The first thing I thought was how does one of the most successful and well-known singer-songwriters of his day, responsible for the number one pop song, “You Send Me,” would ever need to kidnap a female when he had multitude of star-struck female-fans gawking and screaming at him non-stop at his concerts and who would willingly fling themselves at him? These and other questions, I had spurred on by the article below:

Regina King’s new film One Night in Miami raises questions about the soul legend’s 1964 murder in a Los Angeles motel

Why Mystery Still Shrouds Singer Sam Cooke’s Shooting Death Nearly 60 Years Later | PEOPLE.com

This article got me to really start thinking. The author, Jordan Runtagh, pointed out that Cooke had been shot with a .22 pistol, but the gun registered to Franklin was a .32. Also that the bullet that went through his body was taken into evidence by the LAPD but ended up missing. Runtagh also pointed out that Franklin claimed that she shot Cooke and because he was still coming after her, she reached for a broom and beat him over the head with it. The question that many people haven’t asked that Runtagh pointed out was that if Franklyn was scared for her life, why would she drop the gun, “in favor of a stick?”

Sam Cooke’s murder, worse than Malcolm X’s

Sam Cooke’s body being carried out of motel (1964)

Also how would anyone with a brain believe that Bertha Franklin, who was 55 years old at the time, could cause so much physical injury to Sam Cooke, who was 33 years old at the time? By now I was convinced that Sam Cooke was set up like Wesley Sniper in The Contractor complete with a cover-up. The only difference is that Wesley Sniper’s set-up was so elaborate that even an experienced detective would be fooled. Sam Cooke’s set-up wasn’t that good, flimsy and rash, yet his murder wasn’t thoroughly investigated or solved because 1) his physical injuries doesn’t match Bertha Franklins account of what happened. 2) That hooker’s, Elisa Boyer, account that she was kidnapped and that Cooke was going to rape her doesn’t add up. For example, didn’t he allegedly check himself into the hotel, if so, why didn’t she scream for help and escape at that moment? Also, why would he check into a cheap rundown motel with a hooker using his real name especially when he had his pop-star image/reputation to maintain?

It was then that I concluded that Sam Cooke’s murder was even more violent than Malcolm X and Cooke was never an espouser of “violence” not even a public advocate of self-defense, or anything along those lines. Atleast with Malcom X’s murder, one of the assassins got caught, and his name was Thomas Hagen aka Talmadge Hayer, who spent most of his life in jail for taking part in the murder.

Many people, including the “honorable” Elijah Muhammad that Brother Malcolm looked up to so ardently, said that that’s what you get for being an espouser of “violence” and that he, “got what he preached.” But what of Sam Cooke, who was friends with Malcolm X? Cooke never dealt with violence, was never seen or heard “espousing” it but got murdered in such a violent manner.. Did Sam Cooke get what he preached? What about Martin Luther King who preached non-violence? Wasn’t he assassinated in a violent manner? Surely a “prophet” of “God” would have the answer to that question too correct?

The More Likely Manner In Which Sam Cooke was Murdered (viewer/reader discretion advised)

Motel Hacienda (1964) in South LA on Figueroa St were Sam Cooke’s body was found
Sam Cooke’s body in casket with face injuries, broken neck and broken and mangled hand (1964)

After reading Digital and Radio Facts’ interpretation of Bertha Franklin and Elisa Boyer’s accounts has being nonsensical and illogical, here is what I believe likely happened to Sam Cooke:

They killed him, perhaps in a dark alley where they do habitual killings, and took his body to the motel in order to cover up the crime. Obviously they knew Sam Cooke had a lot of money and knew who he was in the music industry.  Both the hooker, whose real name is Crystal Chen Young and the madam, Bertha Franklin were the “fall guys” or in this case the “fall females.” The mob, who by now had their claw clenched deep in the music industry and Sam’s music business associate enemies, who were in cahoots with each other, were the brains behind the operation. They were against Sam wanting to own his music because they wanted a cut, meaning they wanted his whole music publishing company. The mob were the ones that beat him and Sam’s hand was broken because he was likely trying to stop the blows from the beatings. When it became clear that he would not be extorted, they shot him. His head was almost severed from his neck meaning they probably tried to strangle him earlier with the elongated object. His neck likely got severed further as they were moving his body haphazardly into an unmarked vehicle. Then severed even further as they moved his body into the Hacienda motel. His nose was deformed meaning they beat him in the head with the elongated object. He sustained more injuries than what a broom handle alone can do as stated by Etta James and Muhammad Ali who viewed his body. Also, they took Cooke’s pants off and left him in a jacket alone in order to substantiate Crystal Chen Young’s fabricated story that he tried to rape her after kidnapping her.

The gun that Sam was shot with was different than the one that the madam was registered to. No one in the motel or nearby said they heard any gun shots and we all know it’s impossible to not hear gunshots. The bullets that Sam was shot with turned up missing so that is an indication that the LAPD was involved maybe not in his murder but in the cover up. Actually the cover-up means they’re involved so I take that back. Both the hooker and the madam had past crimes that were never brought up during the trial. That would’ve given more context into how Sam was murdered. The latter is another indication of a police coverup. So I’m guessing that the LAPD were paid off by the mob using that five grand that they stole from Sam that he had from a concert he did.  Also they don’t want a black man owning his own music and helping his own people, specifically other black musicians, as it was unheard of at the time. Jealousy, greed, corruption and materialism. Also the FBI knew he was hanging around with Ali and Malcolm X and the like whom they surveillance and topped it all off when they sanctioned the LAPD not looking any further/investigating what happened to Cooke.

The above speculation is barely scratching the surface. I will go into more details on my post entitled, “The Blatant Discrepancies in Sam Cooke’s Murder Trial That Anybody with Half a Brain Can See,” that will follow this post so stay tuned.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are simply those of the author: ME!
My content is not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything!
Copyright 2021 @howtobeasingersongwriter

Sources

Was Sam Cooke’s Death Really A ‘Justifiable Homicide’? (allthatsinteresting.com)

The Mysterious Death of Sam Cooke (performingsongwriter.com)

Sam Cooke’s 1964 Murder Case Needs Further Exploration – Radio Facts

One Night in Miami: how the biopic shortchanges Sam Cooke. (slate.com)

Amazon.com: One More River to Cross: The Redemption of Sam Cooke eBook: Rhule, B.G., RICHARDS, DONNA H., KATSUNE, JOANNA, JAMISON, EUGENE: Kindle Store

Jackie Wilson influenced Elvis and not vice versa Part 2

Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson influences Elvis’ attire and stage persona

My argument is really that the influence between Jackie Wilson and Elvis Presley was really one-directional and it was not mutual, nor did they equally bring to the table. It was really only Wilson that influenced Presley. Another reason why Elvis could not have influenced Wilson is his lack of rhythm and ability to move to his own music—culturally appropriated music to be exact. That’s why he couldn’t move to it, it wasn’t his. Look at the Jailhouse Rock music video. Anybody with rhythm can see that Elvis has no rhythm and can’t move in general much less to move like Wilson.  It’s very unlikely that the poignantly rhythmic Wilson could be influenced by someone who has no rhythm. Thirdly, Wilson was a humble dude (musicians were humble back then, generally speaking). So he probably didn’t even notice how immense his influence was on Elvis, not just on his vocal style but on his stage persona and Mohawk-looking hairstyle too. Still, many African American men wore this hairstyle in the 1960s.

Jackie Wilson’s daughter who goes by the name-spelling, Alexyss Tylor, on YouTube asserts that her father used to wear gold-lined, glittery-jumpsuits when performing on stage and he took Elvis to where he could get those jumpsuits. She added that she likes to wear jumpsuits too, indicating that that trait was inherited from her father. When Elvis first saw Jackie live, Jackie was wearing a cowboy hat and singing like a cowboy. He was good at going on the stage with a mildly different persona everytime. If you watch enough of Jackie Wilson’s later performances that are in color and not black-and-white, he was always in a different costume every performance. Therefore, the jumpsuit was one of the many attires he would change regularly from performance to performance as he didn’t perform in one attire for too long.

In this rare interview, Jackie Wilson talks of Elvis Presley

Jackie Wilson rare interview (year unknown)

Jackie Wilson says in this rare interview that Elvis was a “good friend” and that he helped him to get people to come to his shows. Well, it’s  the least he could do after culturally appropriating black culture for so long and making a lot of money from doing it.  Elvis recognized Jackie Wilson as the best he’s ever seen perform. But did Elvis realize that he had white-performer privilege when he finally met Wilson 10 years after seeing him live at that club in Vegas in 1956? Who knows. It seems unlikely that he didn’t because he could clearly see that he had no problem getting people to his shows but Jackie Wilson, his number 1 influencer, did. It’s a wildly held notion that Elvis didn’t like going to clubs and rarely went. However, because he liked to see Jackie Wilson perform, he went and that made a ton of people go to see Jackie Wilson perform.

As stated in part one, by the time Elvis met Wilson the former had already imitated so many African American male musicians that he thought he was them. It was like a possession brought about by his own obsession with black music and culture. It was to the point that even Wilson thought that he was being influenced by Elvis when, in fact, he was being influenced by a Elvis that had already copied and impersonated so many other black musicians that if black musicians or African American musicians were drawn to Elvis, they were really just drawn to their own culture that Presley had long since been imitating. Whitewashing your own culture and bringing it back to you to fool you into thinking it’s theirs and that it wasn’t originally lifted! That’s what Elvis is to Wilson or to any black musician of this time period mistakenly thinking Elvis influenced them. Jackie wasn’t drawn to Elvis. Just drawn to the seasoned-black-musician-imitator that he was. 

The so-called king eventually dropped the black act or gimmick when he retired. Even though the only way you can drop an act is if it was an act to begin with. 

If you disagree with my opinions, feel free to share why and bring receipts in the comment section.

If you agree please let me know in the comment section. Thanks for reading this far!

Jackie Wilson influences James Brown and Michael Jackson Part 2

Yes this is how Jackie Wilson would’ve appeared to a young Michael Jackson watching backstage when he was in the Jackson-5. I just found out that when the grown Michael was taking his jacket off and flinging it into the audience that was another one of the many Jackie Wilson showmanship moves that Michael borrowed.  Michael Jackson never stopped doing that. When Wilson got older, though, he started having some qualms about taking his jacket off and throwing it into the audience of screaming hormone-induced females like in his younger days. Induced by none other than Jackie Wilson himself. He was insane atleast when it came to performance and in a good way. Actually Sam Cooke did this too, the attire-stripping. But when Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson did something similar because they were best friends and they both influenced each other, it’s easy to  know who it came from first. And flinging your jacket out into the audience is more of a Jackie Wilson thing. Never understood why Michael Jackson used to throw his jacket, hat or shoe out into the audience; it looked impressive but I thought it was literally just theatricality because once his jacket was out of his hands, the lights went dark. Until I found out he actually got that from Jackie Wilson whereupon if Jackie Wilson is doing it it actually makes more sense.

Jackie Wilson and Motown Records

Jackie Wilson on The Soul Train (1971)

Warm, friendly, soft-spoken, HUMBLE and full of heart and personality. That’s Jackie Wilson. The man, the myth, the legend. He probably wasn’t having the best of days during this interview like someone told him some bad news but he still manages to be kind and welcoming just before this soul train performance. His face speaks of foreboding…Nat Turnapol anyone? I will speak of how his manager was milking him of royalties in another post.

Like Wilson stated, he “started in 1957 around the same time as Berry Gordy Jr who owned a small recording company known as Motown records.” Wilson sung the hit songs Gordy wrote which (very likely) funneled much needed finances into Motown records, transforming “Motown records” from only a name to a real functioning record company, thereby becoming instrumental in its startup, and everybody knows how huge Motown records would become. If he didn’t sing those songs, they would’ve never been hits. Like I said about Big Mama Thornton, some singers do make the song a hit. So Wilson was the engine that drove Motown records from a startup record company to full-fledged hammer responsible for banging hits, after hits, after hits. Pun intended. Therefore, he should be listed as one of the founders of Motown.

Funny Don Cornelius would ask Jackie Wilson how he’s keeping up with the times when he already was the times. He was a major influence on many artists including Michael Jackson who would in return influence a slew of other artists that came after him essentially defining the American pop music industry. Wilson never got to see what Michael would become, in other words, he never got to what his influence did. Therefore, he played a huge role in what the pop music industry would become. How are you going to keep up with the times when you are making the times what it is? Adjust to the changes when you are the changes. 

Sources

Amazon.com: Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley eBook: Guralnick, Peter: Kindle Store

“I can see clearly now,” that Johnny Nash was the first American to embrace and record reggae music

A young Johnny Nash 1958 Credit: Getty Images

The first American to record reggae music, introduce it and make it popular to American audiences wasn’t guitarist Eric Clapton. Nor was reggae-rock band The Police, the first to introduce reggae to American audiences.

As the title states, it was an African American by the name of Johnny Nash (Not to be confused with Johnny Cash). Nash not only made reggae popular in the United States but made it even more popular to British audiences as well, thereby contributing to it’s increase in worldwide popularity. Nash wrote and recorded the 1971 reggae hit, “I Can See Clearly Now,” which seemed to have been made increasingly more popular in Jamaica by Jimmy Cliff’s 1993 version. Sources recount that Nash wrote I Can See Clearly Now from an hospital bed when he was recovering from an eye-injury. It was subsequently recorded in the UK and released on Epic Records.

Nash was born in 1940 Houston, Texas as stated here. Like most of his contemporaries, he began singing in church, in his case it was at The Progressive New Hope Baptist Church in South Central Houston when he was a child. By age 13 and subsequent teenage years, he was already on television on the Arthur Godfrey’s program.

Johnny Nash moves to Jamaica from the United States and tours in Jamaica (1965-1967)

Bob Marley and Johnny Nash (1970s)

In 1965 Nash, his manager Danny Sims, and a third business associate formed their own record label called JAD and moved to Jamaica to be closer to reggae culture and music. He signed Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley early in their careers. According to sources listed on Wikipedia, Nash was planning to try to break rocksteady into the American market. Nash must’ve thought very highly of reggae music, was wondering why no one in the United States knew what a reggae music was, and saw it’s potential to explode in the United States and the rest of the world.

Nash and Jamaicans Move and Grove Together

Johnny Nash’s Let’s Move and Groove

Nash’s ballad, ‘Let’s Move and Groove Together,” reached the top 5 on the R&B Charts and it also became a hit in Jamaica as stated here. That must have thrilled Nash, hence why he traveled to Jamaica again for his promotional tour in 1967. It was during this time, he recorded three songs at the Federal Studios in Kingston according to Jamaica Gleaner. Those songs were written by Bob Marley entitled  Stir it Up (No.13 on the U.K., charts in 1972), Guava Jelly, Nice Time and Comma Comma, some of which were included on the I Can See Clearly album.

It was then that Nash became the first non-Jamaican to record in Kingston, Jamaica and record reggae music at that.

Nash and Bob Marley and The Wailers

Nash and Marley gig in London (1972)

I don’t know how this handsome sweet-falsetto singing African American rolled up in Jamaica and ended up signing Bob Marley and The Wailers to a recording and publishing contract on his JAD label. But he did it, The Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston) were only popular locally in Jamaica, and like most if not all musicians in Jamaica at the time, were struggling. Even African American musicians in the US had a bit more resources than Jamaican musicians in Jamaica. JAD ended up “overseeing the controversial release of several Bob Marley and the Wailers songs,” as stated by The Gleaner. It’s like he was godsend as he would prove that The Wailers could trust him with their musical careers. Thus, he was instrumental in pushing-out and propelling Bob Marley’s career from Jamaica into the international limelight. Nash and The wailers collaborated on countless projects. I want to point out that Nash grew up in the country area of Houston, Texas hence why he had no problem fitting right into the Jamaican landscape and culture when he moved there. Jamaica also has a lot of country areas, naturally being that it’s an island. He and his recording team “first met Marley at a ‘groundation’ (Rastafarian meeting) in Kingston during the mid-1960s,” as stated by Campbell here.

No one was free from the influence of Sam Cooke. In early 1970 Nash scored a hit with a reggae-version of Cupid that was originally penned by Cooke and released in 1961. His re-recording of Bob Marley’s “Stir it Up,” was a major hit in Britain in 1971. In 1975, Nash did another Sam Cooke cover “(What A) Wonderful World,” which marked his return to the British charts. It’s clear by now that Nash has a knack for either finding, collaborating and covering songs from or with great singer-songwriters, such as Sam Cooke and Bob Marley. Sam Cooke would himself dab a little in Jamaican music when he covered Jamaican folk song entitled, “Jamaica Farewell,” originally recorded and made famous by Jamaican folk singer Harry Belafonte in 1958. I think Nash could’ve been a great talent scout, especially during those years when he “stopped” doing music and was disillusioned with and disenfranchised from the music industry.

Now back to Nash and The Wailers: as stated by Campbell here, “The Wailers were opening act for Nash on his winter tour of Britain in 1971.” Nash passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family members at his Houston home on Oct 6 2020. His music will remain in the hearts of those who love it best. Johnny Nash’s contribution to making reggae music increasingly known to international audiences was exceedingly invaluable and unparalleled.

©@QueenLA@howtobeasingersongwriter

Sources

American Pop Reggae Singer Johnny Nash Dies at 80 : South Florida Caribbean News (sflcn.com)

‘I Can See Clearly Now’ Singer Johnny Nash Has Died : NPR

Johnny Nash | Biography & History | AllMusic

The Music Diaries | Johnny Nash and his place in Jamaican music history | Entertainment | Jamaica Gleaner (jamaica-gleaner.com)

Johnny Nash valuable to the spread of reggae music internationally | Entertainment | Jamaica Gleaner (jamaica-gleaner.com)

Johnny Nash – Wikipedia

Where Elvis’ Hound Dog came from – “I was the one to sing, you aint nothing but a hound dog.”

You know when a black woman comes into the room and puts her purse down, something big is about to go down.😃😄 —>YouTube comments make me laugh.

🎵YOU ain’t nothing but a hound dog snooping ‘round ma’ door 🎵

By Big Momma Thornton doing the song she made it a hit in the black community in 1952 and Elvis Presley and his record label in 1956 knew that it would be a major hit and knew that if the song was a hit in the black community, it would be a hit anywhere. If Thornton never sung that song, who knows where that song would be, it would’ve been sitting there picking up dust for how long in a sea of other could-be hits. Some singers do make a song a hit. This song wouldn’t have been a hit for Elvis if Thornton didn’t sing it first and made it a hit. Her version makes more sense as she adds meaning to the song when she sings it. Elvis’ version makes one asks why he’s doing the song in the first place. It never made sense to me until I heard Thornton sing it. She only made $100 from it and Elvis made millions. That is why this song is culturally-appropriated because of how Elvis’s version was capitalized. Still, Thornton outlived Elvis and most importantly had a happier life compared “The King’s” drug-inflicted one.

On a studio recording of Hound Dog, Mama Thornton sung a different intro, “I was to one to sing, you aint nothing but a Hound Dog,” (making reference to Elvis’s much more famous version) before re-singing the rest of the lyrics to the very song she made a hit in the black community in 1952. But, also done with a slightly different melody than the live recorded version in the video above.

Jackie Wilson influenced Elvis and not vice-versa Part 1

…He got much better, much better than that record of mines – Elvis Presley

Triple-B Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson

I was reading a biography of Sam Cooke because of course Sam Cooke was ahead of his time and his life never gets boring. Still the author kept repeating Jackie Wilson’s name all the time. Then it suddenly dawned on me that Jackie Wilson is a man I should know. So I looked the man up and it didn’t take me long to realize why I’m supposed to know the man. When I got to looking up Wilson on YouTube, lots of people in the comment section kept comparing Jackie Wilson to Elvis Presley, mostly along the lines of how Elvis couldn’t move like Jackie. In the blog post below, the author is trying to say that Elvis and Jackie both influenced each other and quotes Wilson implying so himself.

Elvis and Jackie Wilson True Soul Brothers | Brad Laidman: Elvis Needs Boats

In the first picture in the post, Elvis is standing next to someone who isn’t Wilson but resembles him, at least to the author (update: photo has since been removed). In the second picture there is Elvis and the real Wilson; we have a bland or plain and basic-looking Elvis standing next to a suave, good-looking and cool Wilson. If anything the second picture in this article only proves that Elvis would eventually copy Wilson’s suave and cool looks, stage presence, moves, mannerisms and vocal styles. 

Elvis was imitating and copying a lot of black musicians that by the time he got to Jackie Wilson he realized that he should at least know their names, and that’s the only reason he knows Jackie Wilson’s name. Even then, it took Elvis years before he actually met Jackie Wilson even after already seeing him perform live and subsequently imitating him in a jam session.

When Jackie Wilson was in Billy Ward and the Dominoes (1953)

Billy Ward and the Dominoes with Jackie Wilson (far right) Image from Allmusic.com

Let’s examine this is more details:

Elvis first saw Jackie perform four to six nights in a row at a Vegas club in 1956. This was when Jackie was performing with Billy Ward and the Dominoes as the lead singer. When Elvis was at the studios with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and supposedly Johnny Cash, in this recording, he referred to Wilson as a “real slim colored guy” but not by his name. He clearly sat at the back of the club. All he had to do was go up to the front of the club and ask the audience member that is sitting in the front what the name of the lead singer is.  Chances are they’d know that his name’ is Jackie Wilson. 

The Jam Session at Sun Studio (1956)

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In the recording session above, Elvis said that Wilson “wasn’t that good but he kept trying till he got much better, much better than that record of mine.” Still who would let the “wasn’t that good,” pass them? Because if he thought Wilson “wasn’t that good” then he wouldn’t have gone to that club to see him 6 nights in a row. Actions speak louder than words. So Jackie Wilson must’ve  been exceptionally good in Elvis’ eyes, even while he was striving to be better or to top himself as a performer.  Elvis also noted that Wilson “had a big hat on.” That must’ve been another reason why Wilson didn’t see that Elvis was in the crowd, in the club, in addition to Presley hiding out in the back somewhere. Elvis said, “he’d already done Hound Dog and another one or two,” witnessing Jackie, who wasn’t famous yet, cover his’ culturally appropriated songs that he was already famous for at the time he was secretly watching Jackie Wilson perform in that club. Still it would take years before Elvis met Jackie Wilson. Wilson painstakingly worked his way up to superstardom and it was then and only then would Elvis cross paths with him again, in other words, meet him. Wilson never needed Elvis to get famous anyway, so he never had to meet him during this time.

Elvis then proceeds to imitate Wilson showing his recording-session team how Wilson sang the song by repeatedly saying:

“That was how he [Wilson] sang it. He went:🎵 ‘You know I can’t be found sitting at home all alone/ I don’t want no other love’,🎵 “that’s the way he sung it. All the time he was singing, he had his feet going in and out like this. (Demonstrates)

If you listen you will hear one of the recording-session attendees in the background repeatedly remarking, “that’s how he sounded,” signaling to Elvis that he was successfully imitating Jackie Wilson, ofcourse Elvis didn’t believe he was properly imitating Wilson and kept on trying. SOUL. That’s what Jackie Wilson had and it’s one of those things that you either have it or you don’t. It can’t be copied.

Elvis continues, “He says 🎵‘You know I can’t be found. Well I don’t want no other love ’ 🎵 He was hitting it.”

“He wasn’t doing too well y’know he was trying too hard. He was trying so hard that he got better boy. (Laughs)”

Personally, I don’t think Elvis has any authority on the subject matter—any authority to say whether Jackie Wilson was good or not because rock and roll, let’s face it, was an African American music and art form that rose out of rhythm and blues, another African American genre. So Elvis essentially witnessed Jackie Wilson topping himself. He went to see Jackie six nights in a row for that purpose. What an honor that must have been for Elvis to witness one of the greatest entertainers/showman of all time, topping his own self. 

Overall, this recording jam session was a Presley-imitation of Wilson under the guise of constructive criticism. Except Wilson wasn’t actually there at the jam-session to receive it. Had Elvis reached out to Wilson for his name and contact information at the club, there is no doubt in my mind that Wilson would’ve been at that jam-session. So the whole purpose of Elvis watching Jackie 6 nights in a row was for him to take notes and become a better performer himself. Sure Presley said he was watching Wilson perform 4 nights a row in the audio instead of 6 nights to make it seem as if he wasn’t obsessed or anything to his jam session buddies, but it was actually 6 nights.

Jackie Wilson influenced Michael Jackson and James Brown part 1

I mean James Brown said he was influenced by Jackie Wilson and Michael Jackson said he was influenced by James Brown and Jackie Wilson. All Elvis Presley said was that “the negroes were doing it [long before he started doing it].”
I don’t think Presley ran off with Wilson’s style when they both became friends, but he sure did copy it. How could he run off when the man, Wilson, was too good? Elvis had to befriend him and stick around long enough to learn however much he could. However, I do believe that Elvis’ misinformed supporters/fans ran off with it for him and that is why today he gets all the credit and Wilson gets nil.

Wilson was the icing on the cake for Elvis—instrumental in the elevation of the Triple B—boring, bland and basic-Elvis to a cool & suave Wilson-imitator complete with impressionable stage mannerisms and the persona that people mistakenly attribute to Presley; although still not anywhere near as good or authentic as Wilson.

With that said let’s go ahead and list other reasons why Elvis alone imitated or was influenced by Jackie

To be continued…

Great black musicians of the 50s and 60s that have come to define popular music as we know it today

Where would popular music be now without those great musicians of the 1950s and 60s? Strolling through YouTube comments on singer-songwriters and musicians such as Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke, one would often come across comments such as, “Only Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin could sing” or “Real music died when Sam Cooke died.” As a musician or even an avid-music listener or music-lover, it’s important to know the greats and the foundation on which the music we listen to and aspire to do, rests on the backs of the ones that came before us and the sacrifices they’ve made, including their very lives, in order to make the dream a reality.

Cooke in the 1960s

Sam Cooke

It is without a doubt that Sam Cooke has come to define the soundtrack of American popular music with hits that are still hits today such as, “You Send Me,” Cupid” and his signature, “A Change is Gonna Come.” However, the murder of the man that has contributed so much to popular music, was never really ever solved. Not only was he murdered, his teen pop image was tarnished as a man who went to a cheap motel in a rundown part of town with a hooker and got what he asked for. Who Sam Cooke really was behind the music needs to be examined robustly so has to better understand the more likely reason and method in which he was murdered and to salvage his reputation still tarnished 60 plus years after his death as examined in The Two Killings of Sam Cooke documentary on Netflix.

Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson’s suave, “cool” and good looks, poignant dance moves, impressionable stage presence, stage persona, mannerisms and dynamic vocal styles would influence musicians ranging from Elvis Presley to Michael Jackson. This street urchin was born in 1934 in Detroit, Michigan where as a teenager he was in street gangs and was in and out of juvenile detention centers. He found the light, so to speak, when he turned to boxing as an organized means to not get in trouble all the time and became Golden Gloves Champion at the age of 16. However, his boxing career was cut short when during a match, at the sound of his mother’s voice, he got distracted and was knocked out by his opponent. According to Wilson, his mother “dragged him by the hair” and told him “no more.” From thenceforth Wilson found another career and that was singing and performing.

Wilson rarely, if at all, gets enough credit for his far-fetched and tremendous influence on the American entertainment landscape. Also, his death was rendered trivial and to being a result of his own actions: taking sodium chloride pills in order to sweat profusely during performances which subsequently made him get an heart attack on stage and put into a coma.

The beautiful Nina Simone in 1968

Nina Simone

Nina Simone was a classically trained American singer-songwriter, arranger, and civil rights activist who’s responsible for such hits as “I Put a Spell On You,” “Mississippi Goddamn” “Feeling Good” and her rendition of “I Love You Porgy.” Simone was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the late 1980s and I believe that is why some of her stance has been dismissed as being merely a result of her mental illness. Still, “To Be Young Gifted and Black,” was penned by her after she said she was influenced by her friend, Broadway hit writer Lorraine Hansberry to “take the civil rights seriously.” Her philosophical views and ideology are to be taken much more seriously than it was in the time she was alive. Her insightful views of not only the Civil Rights Era but her constructive criticism of American society in terms of racial discrimination and segregation in the 1950s and 60s should be highlighted.

Conclusion

So subscribe and hit the notification if you want to learn more about these and other greats and if you want to listen to music that acknowledges their existence and pays homage to their irreplaceable and unparalleled contributions.

Sources

Nina Simone – 10 of the best | Nina Simone | The Guardian

Jackie Wilson – Biography – IMDb

Sam Cooke – Wikipedia

Jackie Wilson – The Man Behind The Music – Rare Interview – YouTube

ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke – Wikipedia

But start here first (Initial Research)

Many people probably are not aware of how much money the music industry alone in the United Stated stacks in. The amount of revenue tells us that it is possible to make a career out of music.

Bucks that your favorite artistes makes.

This source shows us the varying career paths of singers and their income:

Singer salary

There are so many avenues that a singer can take. It is reflective in how they get paid:

How much do singer-songwriters get paid

Rock band silhouettes on stage at concert. Free PhotoMusic image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com