Broadway veteran Kevin Ramsey (The Life, Five Guys Named Moe) created Sam Cooke: Forever Mr. Soul and is attached as playwright and director. Sam Cooke was previously staged at Milwaukee Rep and the Delaware Theater Company in 2006.
Gospel music manager Greg "Uncle G" Lyons, Randy Richardson and entertainment attorney Terry Onea produce the stage work, which is slated for a 30-city U.S. tour beginning in summer of 2008. Tour dates have not been announced.
Multi-platinum recording artist Johnny Gill, actor Malik Yoba and gospel singer Tony Terry are all on board to portray Sam Cooke on a rotating basis. The late musician's work is incorporated into the production, which intends to showcase American gospel choirs and local talent during its touring engagements.
Sam Cooke is considered one of the influential founders of soul music, with 29 Top 40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1965. Among his enduring hits are "You Send Me," "Wonderful World," "Chain Gang," "Cupid," "Twistin' the Night Away," "Shake" and what many consider "the" song of the Civil Rights movement, "A Change Is Gonna Come." In 1964 Cooke was shot and killed at the age of 33.
The production group founded by the Sam Cooke partners, Urban Music Tours, also hopes to develop other African-American focused stories for the stage, screen and television. For further information visit www.umtlive.webs.com.