Sunday, October 10, 2010

Soulobit: Solomon Burke

Self-styled "legendary king of rock and soul" Solomon Burke has died in Amsterdam.

Best known for Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Burke's official website perhaps slightly over-states his position in the pantheon:

Solomon Burke burst onto the scene, shattered the cultural barriers of the time, scored a massive hit with “Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms)” and quickly redefined the way the world would think about music.
Burke, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer since 2001, is more than simply a pioneering American legend from another time and place--he is an innovator whose timeless music spans generations and has inspired millions of fans and hundreds of recording artists across the decades.
You can understand the self-satisfaction a bit; he started his career at the age of 14 with a gospel hit, Christmas Presents From Heaven, which sold a million copies, and he was working all the way up to his death.

Alongside the music, Burke was a preacher and the spiritual leader of The House of God For All People. Although given that he set up the church, that still shows a little self-regard.

Solomon Burke had 21 children; he died at Schiphol Airport of unknown causes on Saturday night. He was 70.