Solomon Burke was an important early soul pioneer. On
his '60s singles for Atlantic, he brought a country
influence into R&B, with emotional phrasing and
intricately constructed, melodic ballads and mid tempo
songs. At the same time, he was surrounded with
sophisticated "uptown" arrangements and was provided
with much of his material by his producers.
The combination of gospel, pop, country, and production
polish was basic to the recipe of early soul. While Burke
wasn't the only one pursuing this path, not many others
did so as successfully. And he was an important
influence upon the Rolling Stones, who covered Burke's
"Cry to Me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"
on their early albums.
Burke came by his gospel roots even more deeply than
most soul stars