The brother of legendary singer Sam Cooke will attend a Mississippi music festival this weekend dedicated to the 1950s and ’60s singer and plans to discuss his pioneering business acumen that put him years ahead of his time in the music industry.
Cooke was among the first black performers to own the rights to his music and to form his own recording and publishing company.
“If they look at it, Sam was first in everything,” said L.C. Cooke in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “All his masters belong to Sam, and that was unheard o. He was Motown before Motown was even invented.”
The Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival begins Friday in Clarksdale, Mississippi — the musical breeding ground that produced the likes of B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. During the weekend-long Cooke tribute, a blues marker in his honor will be unveiled Friday at the New Roxy Theater.
At Ground Zero, a blues club owned by actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman, an educational forum on Cooke’s life will be held Saturday.