21 March 1940, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The former Wonder Boy Preacher, Burkes first recordings appeared on the New York-based Apollo label. From 1955-59 he attempted various styles until a brisk rocker, Be Bop Grandma, attracted the attention of Atlantic Records. An eclectic performer, his reading of a sentimental country song, Just Out Of Reach (1961), was a US Top 30 hit, but the following year, the King of Soul began asserting a defined soul direction with Cry To Me. Burkes sonorous voice was then heard on a succession of inspired singles, including If You Need Me (1963), Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) and the declamatory Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (both 1964). This exceptional period culminated with The Price, an impassioned release that marked the end of Burkes relationship with producer Bert Berns. Although further strong...
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