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Words + Music: Remembering Solomon Burke

Compiled By Arturo R. García

“I feel like his music is where it all came together, and when we think of ’60s soul music it all started with Solomon Burke.”
- Andy Kaulkin, president, Anti-Records, as quoted in The Associated Press

“Cry to Me” is arguably the song Burke will be best known for – due in part to its use during a key, and very sexy, moment in the film “Dirty Dancing.” In the scene, a shirtless Patrick Swayze seduces a very willing Jennifer Grey (or vice versa) while the song plays in the background. That it’s used as a sexual prelude in the film is almost an affront to the song; what the two characters are doing is exactly what Burke desires, but can’t have.

But unlike in “Dirty Dancing,” in the song there is no romance, just a longing for it. All Burke has is her voice in his head, and so desperate is he that even crying is preferable to nothing at all. He’s not even looking for laughter at this point. Just her presence, and her scent, and her tears.
- Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times

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