Sunday, October 10, 2010

The King Of Rock & Soul Dies

This name may not mean a lot to my younger readers and shouldn't mean a lot to me, considering that a great deal of his finest work was done before I was old enough to appreciate it... but, being the music historian I am (R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Pop), I had an appreciation for Mr. Soloman Burke. Thanks to my blog buddy, "The Stepfather of Soul", I found out that Soloman Burke, a soul music giant passed away yesterday. The power of blogging... the power of the internet!

Soul singer Solomon Burke, who wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love", died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. He was 70 years old. He wrote the song in 1964 and it was quickly recorded by the Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett. Later, and perhaps most famously, it was done by the Blues Brothers. If you guys never heard the song by anybody else, I know you at least heard the Blues Brothers version at the very end of the movie. Burke also recorded the hit "Cry To Me", which was used in the movie "Dirty Dancing".

Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed the death of the singer yesterday and referred further questions to the performer's management. Dutch national broadcaster NOS said he died on a plane early yesterday morning after arriving on a flight from Los Angelas. The cause of death was not immediately clear at the time. Soloman Burke, who was both a Grammy winner and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, was due to perform at a well-known club in Amsterdam on Tuesday. He was named the "King of Rock & Soul" by a Baltimore disc jockey in 1964 and he adopted the title as his own... even sitting in a large throne to the delight of his fans.

Mr. Burke, like myself, hails from Philadelphia, PA. He was highly acclaimed by music critics, fellow musicians, and many loyal fans (no easy fete). Soloman Burke never reached the same level of fame as soul performers like James Brown or Marvin Gaye, but he should have. However, legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Soloman Burke "the best soul singer of all time."

According to a 2002 interview with Philadelphia Weekly, Soloman Burke fathered 21 children (My Lord!) and has scores of grandchildren. He was living in Los Angelas at the time of his death.

1 comment:

Moanerplicity said...

When I first heard the news, I was like 'OH NOOOOOOO! Not the cat who sang "When A Man Loves A Woman!"'

NOT is right!

Apparently I got him mixed up w/ Percy Sledge... but the memory of the cats from that era of Soul Singer/Brotha Belters is a bit blurred. I DO recall his name, and hearing him SANGIN in my parents living room back in the day.

Also, the flick Dirty Dancing helped to revive his name over the last 20 years.

Sorry to see another of our Kings of Soul leave the castle.



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