Solomon Burke died today.
Photography: Solomon Burke – with BP Fallon, left – in Barcelona 2003
The 70 years old soul singer – Grammy winner and member of The Rock’n'Roll Hall Of Fame – died at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport after arriving on a flight from Los Angeles.
Described by famed R’n'B producer Jerry Wexler as “the best soul singer of all time”, Philadelphia-born Solomon scored with sixties hits like ‘Cry To Me’, ‘Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)’, ‘Got to Get You Off My Mind,’ ‘Down In The Valley’ ‘Maggie’s Farm’ and the Rolling Stones-covered ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’.
Video: Solomon Burke with his pupils The Rolling Stones
He had a revival with a Grammy award for the 2002 contemporary blues album ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ which featured songs written specifically for him by fans such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Brian Wilson and Tom Waits and he continued to perform until his death – he was due to give a concert in Holland on Tuesday.
BP Fallon first saw Solomon in 1966 at The Marquee Club in London and they kept in touch ever since – even when Solomon became a bishop. BP visited Bishop Burke at his church in Downtown LA several times and each time he was announced to the congregation by King Solomon as “an old friend of mine” and was asked to stand up and take a bow. BP saw his hero play everywhere, from Barcelona to Dublin to New York – and last witnessed this larger-than-life icon performing at the after-party for the reformed Led Zeppelin at the O2 in London in 2007.
Says BP “Solomon Burke was the very best, that deep soulful voice testifying with power and potency and forever bringing tears of joy. God Bless you, Bishop. You were brilliant”.
Solomon Burke March 21st 1940 – Oct 10th 2010. Rest In Peace.
Added Oct 11th 2010
Solomon Burke: Gone But Not Forgotten by Jon Wilde