CounterPunch

Brother Solomon Burke

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The Rolling Stones introduced me to Solomon Burke when they covered his classic, “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” on their third album, released in the U.S. as Rolling Stones Now in 1964.  By that time Solomon Burke’s influence on other musicians was for some mysterious reason much bigger than his own success, which was more on the R&B charts than the pop charts.  A few years later when I finally bought The Best of Solomon Burke, my mind was blown at what an astoundingly great singer he was.  On ballads he could be smooth as velvet, starting out laidback, then build to an incredibly funky shout that came right from the church, which of course made total sense since he was a boy preacher.

Before Ray Charles, Burke mixed soul and country on his first record, “Just Out of Reach of My Two Empty Arms,” and he never stopped doing that either.

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About the author

Peter Stone Brown

Peter Stone Brown is a Songwriter and Journalist.

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