Singer Solomon Burke
birth name: James Solomon McDonald

Solomon Burke

March 21, 1940, Philadelphia, PA ~ October 10, 2010, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The beautiful voice, apparently effortless style, and pristine diction and timing of the preacher turned singer-songwriter were legendary in the business. He was described by Jerry Wexler, his producer at Atlantic Records, as “the best soul singer of all time.” ~ The Guardian: Solomon Burke Obituary ~ October 10, 2013 © The Guardian

In an interview with The Telegraph, Burke said: “As long as I have breath to do it, I'll sing, with God's help.” ~ BBC: Solomon Burke Obituary ~ October 10, 2010 © BBC News

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October 10, 1981 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Stop Draggin' My Heart Around ~ #2 (2) Christopher Cross, Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) ~ #1 (1) Diana Ross & Lionel Richie, Endless Love


For Burke was first and foremost a man of God, and it was this that, in 1962, led to Atlantic Records marketing him as the first “soul singer” after he had objected to its describing his single Cry to Me as rhythm 'n' blues, a term many black churchgoers equated with the music of the Devil. Burke was soon surpassed in the public's conception of "soul" by label-mates such as Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding; but Jerry Wexler, the most influential of Atlantic's producers, always maintained that Burke's was the finest voice he had ever heard. Wexler also described him as “wily, highly intelligent, a salesman of epic proportions.” ~ The Telegraph: Solomon Burke Obituary ~ October 10, 2010 © The Telegraph

Solomon Burke ~ Inducted in the 2001 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ~ Burke was a consummate showman who adopted the role of “King of Rock ‘n’ Soul” onstage by adorning himself in a regal robe of velvet and ermine. One of the greatest vocalists of the soul era, Burke has been credited for helping to keep Atlantic Records solvent from 1961 to 1964 with his steady run of hit records. ~ 2001 © Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Solomon Burke ~ Everybody Needs Somebody To Love ~ Named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll in 1995.

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