Solomon Burke, Soul and Gospel Singer, Dead at 70

Being blessed with a cutting, rich voice is one thing. Having the commitment to belt it out the way Solomon Burke did for more than a half-century comes down to devotion to the craft that figures into practice, preparation, and a love of the material. The "King of Rock and Soul" died Sunday at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at age 70.

In addition to Ben Sisario's career-spanning obit for the New York Times and Rolling Stone's highlights of his life in music, be sure to read Tom Bowker's piece for the Miami Herald. An excerpt of the heartfelt, humorous, and personal recollections of Burke follows below:


the short time I knew Solomon, we traded wisecracks and hilariously

wild stories (Like how he played a KKK rally with his face bandaged up

like the invisible man), but he could get deep too. A few minutes after

chiding me for not being married, my circumstances appeared to change

and I proposed to my girl and got a "yes." I called to tell him the

news; Solomon's voice dropped an octave and he told me this was a sign from

above and he was personally blessing my wedding. Two days later, an

unreleased autographed CD arrived in the mail, inscribed to me and my


Much more at the source -- and important to note that one of Burke's more recent successes, Don't Give Up On Me, played at Bowker's wedding reception.

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