Confession, they say, is good for the soul.
Solomon Burke, a preacher man, would like that.
So here is mine.
Before I started digging music blogs some five years ago, I knew only vaguely about Solomon Burke, who billed himself as nothing less than “the legendary king of rock and soul.”
After all, I grew up on the AM Top 40 and free-form FM radio of the early to mid-’70s, and Solomon Burke did not have any hits on the radio I heard in Wisconsin.
So when friends started posting the news of Burke’s passing on Facebook early Sunday morning, I recognized its significance. Hey, I’ve learned a little something.
There will be no eloquent tribute here tonight. I defer to Mr. Grogan.
I must do so because I learned all I know about Solomon Burke from the music blogs. From Larry. From Derek at Derek’s Daily 45. From Red at The “B” Side, The “A” Side and Holy Ghost. From G at Any Major Dude. From the folks at Moistworks, which apparently went dark after Alex Chilton’s passing in March.
All these writers, and others, shared their passion for Burke, their knowledge of Burke and their records. We sat around the digital hearth and dug the music, much as we’d do if we were in the same room. I learned about Burke and heard records old and new.
So if you’ve shared Solomon Burke’s gift on your blog, thank you.
Today we celebrate the music blogs and Solomon Burke’s music.
But I lack the cool Solomon Burke soul records my friends have found. I’ve never seen any while digging for records in Wisconsin. But I went through my stacks and came up with some Solomon Burke in a most unexpected place — among the Christmas music.
This was written by Burke, his second wife Delores and his son Solomon Jr. It was recorded Nov. 8, 1966, in New York. It was released as Atlantic single 2369 on Nov. 3, 1967, then on the “King Solomon” LP in 1968, then on the “Soul Christmas” comp later that year.