Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Solomon Burke R.I.P.

AMSTERDAM (AP) Solomon Burke, the larger-than-life "King of Rock and Soul" who was revered as one of music's greatest vocalists but never reached the level of fame of those he influenced, died early Sunday at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. He was 70. Born to the sound of music in an upstairs room of a Philadelphia church, Burke was acknowledged as one of the greatest soul singers of the 1960s, but his popularity never matched that of contemporaries like James Brown or Marvin Gaye. Two of Burke's best-known songs reached a wider audience when they were featured in hit movies. He wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" in 1964 and it was later featured in the Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi movie "The Blues Brothers." The Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett also recorded it. A bare-chested Patrick Swayze danced seductively with Jennifer Grey to Burke's "Cry To Me" in one of the most memorable scenes from the movie "Dirty Dancing." Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Burke, "the best soul singer of all time."

Here's why Burke was the real deal and a big deal. Listen to this. I'm back at the K.A. House...again.

11 comments:

Main Line Sportsman said...

He was giant....literally and figuratively...Van Morrison owes much to him...a voice that will be missed.

CeceliaMc said...

Burke could wail.

Like Burke, Bill Withers is a puzzle too. Withers is one of the great soul voices of all time and it's hard to understand why he wasn't more of a commercial success.

A friend of mine ventured that a black guy, who played acoustic guitar, and who wrote and sang songs that weren't strictly blues or soul, wasn't someone the industry knew how to market back then.

My guess is the same was true for Burke and his uncluttered straight-forward style.

Preppy 101 said...

I heard a rebroadcast of an NPR interview with him from a few years ago while driving home from Maryland. You need to hear it. He talks about the Crown and the Robes he wore. Awesome.
Listen to "The Price".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiTelo0EOpo
OMG - I'll never be the same :-) xoxo

NCJack said...

Bet you've tuned into "WLAC, BLUES radio from NASHville, TENnessee, brought to you by RANdy's Records, home of the THUNderbird bluuuuue special", which just might've featured one of SB's singles. Didn't watch much TV in high school, but my old tube radio had 'em on the #3 button

yoga teacher said...

I've been playing "Cry to Me" this week in tribute . . .during the *abs* section of my classes. I get to give a little shout-out for Mr. Burke; my students get to feel like cryin'. I do hope he was happy.

Turling said...

Is it just me, or can no one else get past the fact the poor man died in an airport? The only place worse would probably be the office.

Patsy said...

Oh Turling, I thought the same thing. How utterly sad.

Flo said...

"Is it just me, or can no one else get past the fact the poor man died in an airport?"

I understand he died IN the plane en route, so they're citing the airport where he landed as the actual location of his death. This man fathered 21 children and 90 grandchildren; Cry.To.Me.

ADG said...

Ok. The whole airport/airplane death thing really set me to thinking. Because I spend more time on planes, in hotels,and in airports than anywhere else. Damn. Oh, and I'm not home often enough to father 21 kids. Unless I did such "work" all over the country.

Anonymous said...

Just had my 80th birthday and Solomon Blake is still my favorite. Thanks for posting. I know many are listening!!

Memphis88 said...

I discovered his music a year or two ago and ever since I have listened to Cry to Me, Down in the Valley and many others probably 2 or 3 times a week. Gotta say that Fast Train is my favorite, though. It was the first of his songs I can remember hearing and it was on one of the season finales of The Wire. Maybe it's because it was on my favorite show of all time, but the song has become one of my absolute favorites.

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