Another gift from Solomon Burke

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.

But that was before I was taken to school (and led to church) by music bloggers preaching the good word about Solomon Burke.

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.

When I got to work, the AP wire story had all the facts. But Larry’s post over at Funky 16 Corners had the essence of the man.

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.

“Presents For Christmas,” Solomon Burke, 1967, from “Soul Christmas,” 1968. (The cover and buy link are to the 1991 CD reissue, which is what I have.)

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.


Filed under October 2010, Sounds

2 responses to “Another gift from Solomon Burke

  1. Dane

    I was first introduced to him as a teen through the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, believe it or not. “Cry To Me” is still how I know him best, sadly; you’re right, there’s not a lot of his work readily accessible.

  2. Hello Sir I am so glad you have found the original record because some one has been removing my mothers name from songs she wrote wit my father. It touched my heart to see this because I told the lawyers this was so now I can show them the LP. If any of you DJ’S out there fine original LP’S Please contact me at my email. Thank you for you dedication to good music.

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