Solomon Burke 1940-2010
Solomon Burke at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival – photo by Kevin Yatarola
The” King of Rock and Soul” Solomon Burke passed away on Sunday at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Burke was given this title in the early 1960s and often played up the designation, performing in a royal robe and crown. Burke, who began his singing career in the mid-1950s first gained renown in the 1960s with songs such as “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” “You Can Make It if You Try,” and “Cry To Me.” John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd later performed “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” in their 1980 film The Blues Brothers while “Cry To Me” was featured in the movie Dirty Dancing. Burke, who also maintained a career as a preacher and a mortician, recorded music throughout his life and in 2001 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His 2002 release Don’t Give Up on Me , which featured songs written by Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson and Van Morrison received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Two years later Burke performed at the Jammys, backed by the Derek Trucks Band, and Trucks then commented, “There are not many guys like Solomon singing anymore. Otis Redding and Solomon Burke. It’s just a different breed.” Burke’s latest release Hold Tight, a collaboration with Dutch band De Dijk, came out this month and when he died, Burke was traveling to Amsterdam for a sold out concert.