This post is for ana-b, whose blog The Singing Bones is one of the best on the web. Ana recently gave birth to her first child, a baby girl, & to welcome little Anza to our world I figured I'd post something that I promised her mother quite some time ago. Ana, here's my lazy girl synopsis of Nick Loss-Eaton's very thorough liner notes:
Born King Sylvester Lee Melicious Solomon in Tallulah, LA on October 12, 1934 Solomon says simply, "I guess all the kids had long names". As a teenager, Solomon sang with an a capella gospel group that opened for a pre-Sam Cooke Soul Stirrers. In 1949 the aspiring singer got on a bus to Chicago where, in addition to running a restaurant, he met early mentor Sunnyland Slim & befriended Rufus 'Bearcat' Thomas. After 5 years in Chicago he made his way to Los Angeles and assimilated West Coast blues stylings into his Chicago blues & northern soul foundation - billing himself as either King Solomon & the Soul Brothers Band or King Solomon & the Handicappers. His bands included, among others, Maxwell Davis, Joe Kincaid, & Charles Wright of "Express Yourself" fame" (whose band accompanies King Solomon on the 1965 title song of this collection).
So. Here we have 24 songs released on 8 different labels between 1960-78 - and no wonder Ana has been confused! Also per Mr. Loss-Eaton, a different King Solomon (Hill) was a country-blues singer in the pre-war era. Yet another King Solomon was a pianist who accompanied Lowell Fulsom. Then there's Solomon Burke's nickname. And also apparently a 'hip hop artist' (can't you hear Mr. Loss-Eaton's sniff of disdain?;-)) Point is, this King Solomon, over several incarnations, is most enjoyable and y'all can listen to him here.
And for a preview, here is one of my favorite cuts from the cd. Recorded in the early 60s, it's obviously deeply indebted to a much more famous bluesman & one of his most famous songs - but hey. Dig it.
King Solomon - Yodelling This Morning (originally released on Magnum 720)