Tonight on PBS, a look at the velvet-voiced star who helped break the pop music color barrier with his gospel-infused R&B in ‘Sam Cooke: Crossing Over’. Cooke’s sensual sound made him the first black artist to score number one hits on both the R&B and the pop music charts. He made gospel sound sexy and pop sound soulful. And he composed one of the most important anthems of the civil rights movement before his violent death at the age of 32 in 1964. Tonight’s American Masters documentary includes interviews with James Brown, Billy Preston, Lou Rawls and Muhammad Ali, among many others.
Watch the trailer:
Listen to Cooke’s “(Somebody) Ease my Troublin’ Mind”: