100 Greatest Singers
March 21st, 1940
Key Tracks "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," "Cry to Me," "Just Out of Reach"
Influenced Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Ben Harper
Because Solomon Burke never had a big crossover hit, "the King of Rock and Soul" is not as widely known as others from the golden age of soul music. But his dramatic, sonorous voice — seasoned by his days as a boy preacher — is unrivaled in its ability to move effortlessly between R&B, pop, country and gospel. "My grandmother made sure that we listened to a variety of music, and that always stayed with me," says Burke. Recently, he's picked up a Grammy and long-overdue recognition, and tracks such as "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" are now part of the soul canon. "He is Solomon the Resonator," Tom Waits has said, "the golden voice of heart, wisdom, soul and experience." King Solomon himself says, "I'm just trying to move as fast as I can, in as many directions as I can, for as long as I can."