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.
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE...
Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.