1967-1975: Cornbread, Earl and Me

After tagging the Jackson 5 jet, Cornbread’s fame grew. The jet’s final destination was Los Angeles Airport. Upon arrival, the tag got the attention of the L.A. media, and the next day, McCray was featured in the newspaper. A movie producer read the article, researched Cornbread and decided to make him the focus of a film. Hollywood executives came all the way to Philadelphia to meet Cornbread. Cool Earl, Tity and Cornbread met with the producers, but Cornbread insisted on bringing his own lawyer. Once the producers saw that McCray would fight to protect his own interests, they backed off of the project and left Philly. In 1975, a film came out, starring a young Laurence Fishburne, called “Cornbread, Earl and Me.” Philadelphians rushed to see the film, expecting to see a movie about the tagging exploits of Cornbread, Earl, and Tity. Instead, they saw a story set in inner-city Chicago about a group of young basketball players. The filmmakers had taken Cornbread’s famous name and used it with no reference to the man who had made the name legendary. McCray was crushed and vowed to make his own film about his life someday.

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