Brunch Tunes: Solomon Burke - The King of Rock n' Soul
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Solomon Burke's two albums from 1968 have been rereleased in a two-fer package of King Solomon / I Wish I Knew . Solomon's greatest hits compilations are essential for the hits. But this twofer is a great way to hear Solomon's music in context. His cross-over potential between R&B and Country music is evident in these sessions covering everyone from Spooner Oldham & Dan Penn, to Allen Toussaint, Joe Tex, and Don Covay.
We did a Guest DJ session on KCRW's The Open Road with Solomon Burke on October 20, 2002 right before he opened for the Rolling Stones at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. In it King Solomon discussed his album Don't Give Up On Me which returned him to national prominence and included new songs written by Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello,and Tom Waits. Solomon also played some of his favorite tunes from the past 40 years, including "Soul Meeting'" with Joe Tex, Don Covay, Ben E. King and Arthur Conley. Other highlites include a brilliant version of "Proud Mary" and the original Tom Waits demo for "Diamond In Your Mind." My favorite moment is the once in a lifetime live take of Solomon Burke reciting the lyrics to his original "The Price" over his cover of Elvis Costello's "Judgement" which was written as a sequel to the 1964 song. The effect of the older Burke singing a dueting with the younger Burke is more than powerful.
Solomon Burke's soulful, funky, spiritual and passionate music has changed my life. It's also often a lot of fun!
Listen to these great Solomon Burke songs:
Don Covay's Party People
The Staples Singers' It's Been a Change
Spooner Oldham & Dan Penn's Take Me (Just As I Am)
Ray Charles' What'd I Say