“The Playboy Club,” one of the latest ‘60s-set shows to capitalize on the success of “Mad Men,” has been talked about less in terms of music than sexual politics, but the show has already developed a blossoming relationship with the former. R&B singer and past member of 3LW, Naturi Naughton, plays one of the lead roles, and NBC announced her character will be working alongside younger depictions of Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Ike and Tina Turner, and Sam Cooke this season.
Cooke will be played by Grammy-nominated Raphael Saadiq, who tweeted about the “honor” this morning. Given his penchant for neo soul ballads and retro apparel, Saadiq is a sensible choice– but a safe one. Cooke was as well known for his lovelorn masterpieces as he was for his womanizing ways, and it’s questionable that the man responsible for the impotent protagonist in “Good Man” has enough sex appeal. The role might have been better filled by Chicago-native R. Kelly, who’s role-played Sam Cooke before.
Judge for yourself: Watch R. Kelly’s cover below and catch Saadiq’s after the show premieres, September 19.