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Sun. May 19th, 2024
After Sam Cooke died in 1964, his widow had a scandalous relationship with his protege, Bobby Womack.

RCA Victor Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

S22E10: Sam Cooke, Barbara Campbell Cooke, and Bobby Womack

By the time of his death at just 33, singer Sam Cooke had become a bona fide superstar, as well as being an effective activist in the movement for Black equality in America. He had also been married twice, and it’s in the story of his second wife, Barbara Campbell Cooke, where things get very complicated, very fast. Because Barbara did not attend Sam Cooke’s funeral alone. She was escorted by his friend, protege, and guitar player Bobby Womack, who drove her there in Sam’s car, dressed in Sam’s best clothes. And the story only gets worse from there.

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Alicia’s Receipts

Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, by Peter Guralnick (Amazon)

Bobby Womack: My Story 1944-2014, by Bobby Womack and Robert Ashton (Amazon)

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

Sam Cooke “You Send Me” on The Ed Sullivan Show (YouTube)

Sam Cooke Weds High School Sweetie (New Pittsburgh Courier via newspapers.com)

Barbara Campbell Cooke, 85, Widow of the Slain Sam Cooke, Is Dead – The New York Times

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