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All About Solomon Burke

Updated on November 16, 2012

Solomon Burke

Mar. 21, 1940 - Oct. 10, 2010
Mar. 21, 1940 - Oct. 10, 2010

He Lives On Through His Music

Solomon Burke was an artist and musician. He was born James Solomon Burke on March 21, 1940. He died after he arrived at the airport in Schiphol, Netherlands. He had a scheduled concert performance at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Seventy years old and still performing! The concert tickets were sold out because everybody loved to hear his combo music of gospel, soul and blues. His music has inspired and moved millions who listen to his diamond voice.

I'm writing all about Solomon Burke because he's an icon of mine. His music has been part of my household starting at childhood. There's so much love and passion in his music, it's as if he's singing to only you.

As a child, I heard his music all the time. My mother use to play his vinyl 45's as she cleaned the house and while she was cooking. She even knew the lyrics to Cry to Me, that was her favorite and mine also. I use to wonder when I was young why she like that song so much, now I know because the lyrics tell why. i just didn't understand then.

17 million Record Sales

Solomon Burke was about 14 years old when he started recording his music. He signed with the Apollo Record Label and the very first song he recorded was a gospel song titled Christmas Presents from Heaven. This song alone sold a million copies!

Solomon Burke's voice had such an impact on listeners until he was invited to the Vatican on several occasions to perform for Pope John Paul ll. Speaking of appearances, he played the character Daddy Mention in the movie the Big Easy.

The song Don't Give Up On Me got him a Grammy for The Best Contemporary Blues Album. In the movie Dirty Dancing, the song Cry To Me was used in a love scene.

In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At last count, Solomon Burke had 17 million record sales.

He deserved the title given to him and he honored it, Solomon Burke, the King of Rock and Roll.

What was the driving force behind this man with the diamond voice? I say it was his love for God and his Granny. He stayed connected to his church and he even ministered in his hometown church.

Family says it all. Solomon had a very large family. There are seven sons, and fourteen daughters and from these off springs came ninety grand children and nineteen great grands.

Daddy Mention, The Big Easy
Daddy Mention, The Big Easy

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