Newsletter: Spring 2009, Volume 17 No 1
The book and the movie
by Alan Morgan
Back in 2001 my article The Spade
Cooley Story appeared in the December issue of the WSMS
Newsletter. This article told the story of Spade Cooley's rise
from poverty to Hollywood celebrity in the 1940 s and 1950 s with hit
recordings, movie roles and a long running TV series.
Tragedy struck in 1961 when
Cooley murdered his wife in a drunken rage in front of their teenage
daughter. While serving a prison sentence he died of a heart
attack. In my article I stated that it was surprising that
a movie has not been made of this fascinating subject. Since
writing the article, a leading author has written a book and a
Hollywood movie has started production. However, both of
these ventures have been struck by the Cooley curse.
Author, Susan Van Hecke writer of the
Gene Vincent biography Race With The Devil and writer and critic for
the Washington Post and Goldmine completed her new book in 2003.
Swingin' The Devils Dream – Life of Spade Cooley, The King Of
Western Swing was to be published in March 2003 by Acorn Music
Corp. Unfortunately, the book was not released as
planned. Later in 2003 Schirmer Publications announced it would
release the book in 2004. However, this was not to be, and we are
still waiting for this book to appear on the shelves of our book
Late in 2004 Hollywood movie actor,
Dennis Quaid announced that he would perform multiple duties for a film
on the life of Spade Cooley titled, Shame On You. Quaid will star
as Spade Cooley and Katie Holmes will co-star as the unfortunate Mrs.
The film will follow the tumultuous life
of Spade Cooley and the murder of his wife. Holly Wiersma
is the producer and the multi-talented Dennis Quaid wrote the script
and will direct the movie. However, the Cooley curse struck once
again when publicity concerning Katie Holmes' relationship with Tom
Cruise stopped production. Eventually production resumed
and the movie was planned for a 2008 release. Katie Holmes
and Tom Cruise were now married and expecting a child. Of
course this pregnancy again halted production, the latest news from
Hollywood is that the movie will be released in 2010.
After the 1961 scandal, Spade Cooley
recordings were discontinued as re-issues. Thankfully we can now enjoy
his music on re-issue CD s.
Hopefully the dreaded Cooley curse will
be lifted and we will soon enjoy the book and the movie on the
King Of Western Swing.
WESTERN SWING MUSIC SOCIETY
3565 CAMBRIDGE STREET
Contact – John York email
or phone: 604-299-2301