Soloman Burke ~ Soul of the Blues

Soloman Burke ~ Soul of the Blues

Soloman Burke ~ Soul of the Blues

21 March 1940, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The former ‘Wonder Boy Preacher’, Burke’s first recordings appeared on the New York-based Apollo label. From 1955-59 he attempted various styles until a brisk rocker, ‘Be Bop Grandma’, attracted the attention of Atlantic Records. An eclectic performer, his reading of a sentimental country song, ‘Just Out Of Reach’ (1961), was a US Top 30 hit, but the following year, the ‘King of Soul’ began asserting a defined soul direction with ‘Cry To Me’. Burke’s sonorous voice was then heard on a succession of inspired singles, including ‘If You Need Me’ (1963), ‘Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)’ and the declamatory ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ (both 1964). This exceptional period culminated with ‘The Price’, an impassioned release that marked the end of Burke’s relationship with producer Bert Berns. Although further strong records appeared (indeed, in 1965, ‘Got To Get You Off My Mind’ became his biggest hit), they lacked the drama of the earlier era. Still based in New York, Burke was now overshadowed by Otis Redding, Sam And Dave and other acts who recorded at Stax Records and Fame. A belated Memphis session did provide a US Top 50 entry in ‘Take Me (Just As I Am)’, but Burke left Atlantic for Bell Records in 1968. The ensuing album, Proud Mary, was a southern soul classic, while the title track, written by John Fogerty, charted as a single in the USA.

Burke carried on recording during the following decades, releasing several worthy studio albums. He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2001. His first recording of the new millennium, 2002’s Don’t Give Up On Me, was his most high-profile release since the 60s. Released on Fat Possum Records, the album featured specially written material from artists such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, and Nick Lowe. Morrison and Dr. John repeated the favour on the major label follow-up, Make Do With What You Got. In 2006, Burke decamped to Nashville, Tennessee, to record a sparkling album named after the country music capital. He was joined by guests including Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Gillian Welch, with production duties handled by Buddy Miller.

He passed away in 2010.

1 My Babe

2 Good Rockin' Tonight

3 Sufferin' Mind

4 Letter From My Darling

 5 Don't Deceive Me

 6 Candy

 7 Crawdad Hole

8 Along About Midnight

9 Pledging My Love

10 Lonesome Highway

11 Street Walking Woman

12 No Nights By Myself

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