Pullin’ ‘Tubes: RIP King Solomon

Yesterday the world lost soul legend Solomon Burke, who died at the age of 70 shortly after arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, where he was scheduled to play a concert. Burke, who was one of the last living of the original soul men, was born in Philadelphia in 1940, and began recording gospel songs at the age of 14, before turning to the world of secular music in the early 1960s when he was signed to Atlantic Records.

During the early ’60s, Burke charted a string of hits including  If You Need Me, Got To Get You Off My Mind, Tonight’s the Night and quite possibly his most well known song Cry To Me – which also charted again the 1980s after appearing on the soundtrack for the movie Dirty Dancing.

While Burke never quite attained the same cross-over pop success as some of his contemporaries, he went through a career renaissance starting in 2002 with the release of his critically acclaimed album Don’t Give Up On Me . The Grammy winning album for Best Contemporary Blues Album fused classic soul with contemporary roots music and featured new songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Brian Wilson and Tom Waits that were specifically written for Burke to record.

Let’s remember the great King Solomon with this live performance of Down In The Valley, which also was recorded by Otis Redding and appears on his seminal 1965 album Otis Blue

Burke, impressively leaves behind behind 21 children, 90 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. R.I.P. King Solomon.

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One Response

  1. RIP. His sequence at the 2004 Jammy Awards with the Derek Trucks band (“I Wish I Knew” and “Home In Your Heart”), led to a jam on “Lovelight” with Susan Tedeschi and Dickey Betts also sitting in. Maybe the best thing I ever saw at the Jammys, and there’s a moment — you can feel it even by hearing it on the tapes — where Solomon tells the crowd “we’re in church.” Indeed.

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