Monday 25 September 2017

Charles Bradley: In Memoriam [1948-2017]

The screaming eagle of soul.  If you've listened to a Charles Bradley album before then you know that's an apt description of the prowess of the marquis act at Daptone's Dunham Records, and with each of his three album releases, it was a moniker that he embraced more and more.

So it's with the utmost sadness that Daptone Records released the news days ago that Charles Bradley had lost his battle with liver cancer at the age of 68.

Bradley's was the ultimate in Cinderella stories: having been inspired to sing following the chance to see James Brown perform, it would take many years before he was able to have his dream fulfilled on the global scale that it did.  Bradley spent many years performing in small clubs under the name Black Velvet and covering mostly James Brown songs until he was discovered by Daptone founder, Gabriel Roth, in his early-60s; Roth subsequently introduced him to Thomas Brenneck, who went on to produce all three of Bradley's album releases and introduce the made-in-heaven union of Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band to the world.

Much has been made of Charles Bradley's story: Abandoned by his mother at eight months of age, spending years drifting from town to town and working as a cook, the premature death of his brother... all life-shattering experiences that went on to shape the sincerity of Bradley's music and what fans would really go on to connect with.

This marks such a tragic loss, made all the more painful so soon after the passing of Sharon Jones in late-2016.  If you've never purchased a Charles Bradley album, please now take the time to do so.  'No Time For Dreaming', 'Victim Of Love' and 'Changes' are timeless and poignant pieces of soul music that warrant your attention so don't let the memory of this incredible artist slip through your fingers.

1 comment:

  1. Charles Bradley was not only a singer but he was a learning institution for so many new comers.I am deeply sadden on his demise.May God rest his soul in peace.