The Soul Clan - That’s How It Feels
There’s sure to be a lot of Solomon Burke standards adrift out there in the ether over the last couple of days since his sudden death, on an airplane in the Netherlands, no less. It’s both suitably classy and fitting that he would die while being lifted so closely to the heavens - throughout his life, Burke skirted the line between the glitter and glamour of showbusiness while staying true to his faith and serving his community. He also reportedly knocked out 21 kids while doing all this. He also had a really rad cape. If even one of these facts was part of my eulogy, I’d be pleased as punch.
We wrote a bit about Solomon here but left a few notable elements out - he was a successful child preacher in Phildelphia, even hosting his own radio show at the tender age of 12, worked as an embalmer, and ultimately gave up the glamour of psalmin’ and embalmin’ to record some landmark songs bridging the worlds of soul, rock and pop in the 60’s.
This gem was the output of a soul ‘supergroup’, The Soul Clan, which included Ben E. King, Arthur Conley, Joe Tex, Burke and Don Covay. The idea was Covay’s, and the idea was to channel their starpower into a way to help their communities, build up black-owned businesses, and generally do a little bit more for the world than spend their royalty checks on gold chains and diamond-crusted spinners. Kind of awesome and audacious that an all-black group with designs on power for their people would named their group a ‘clan’.
Hoods hats off to that, fellas!
RIP Solomon. I like your chances at the gates, pal. Especially in that cape.
This song doesn’t come from the 1971 ‘Electronic Magnetism’ release, but man, tell me there’s a better file photo than this.