Boxing fans with long memories will tell you that February 25, 1964 was the date when a young Cassius Clay (shortly before he became Muhammad Ali) defeated Sonny Liston to become world Heavy Weight Champion. The fight took place in the Miami Beach Convention Centre and after the triumph Clay decamped to the Hampton House Motel in one of Miami’s historically black neighbourhoods. It was there that he celebrated his win with three of his closest friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown.
Now, that special night in Miami is the subject matter of an upcoming movie, ‘One Night In Miami’. Written by Kemp Powers and based on his award-winning play, the movie is set for a New Year release and features Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown and Leslie Odom Jr. (an original ‘Hamilton’ performer) as Sam Cooke.
The movie soundtrack will be released on ABKCO on January 15th. The original score has been composed by Terence Blanchard and features an original song, ‘Speak Now’ performed by Leslie Odom as Sam Cooke. In the movie he also performs some of Sam Cooke’s most celebrated repertoire including ‘You Send Me’, ‘Chain Gang’, ’Good Times’ and ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. Odom has long admired Sam Cooke. He says: “Playing Sam Cooke was some big shoes to fill. It was a challenge and an honor. I have such respect and admiration and awe for his talent and what he was able to achieve.”
To tie in with the movie’s release, three classic Sam Cooke LPs (‘Keep On Movin On’, ‘Ain’t That Good News’ and ‘Sam Cooke At The Copa’) will be reissued on January 22nd 2021… the day when Cooke would have been 90.