On Saturday past, word reached us that the “Screaming Eagle Of Soul”, Mr Charles Bradley had passed away after losing his battle with cancer. To say we were sad is an understatement. Much like Sharon Jones before him, Charles fought the cancer as we all knew he would and got back on the road doing what he loved best – performing live to sell out audiences. Sadly like Sharon, the cancer was to return and ultimately take his life. He was 68.
Today, I’d like to remember Charles for his amazing music and his inspirational life story. When I first heard his voice some time ago, I was drawn by the emotion and power that was coming from him. I had to find out more about him and realised that he was a “new” discovery on the Daptone label. As you know, we here at Gazfunk are huge fans of Daptone and so over the next few years set out to buy each 45 that was released. The track I have chosen to feature today is one such release – “The World Is Going Up In Flames” released in 2007.
I’ve been fortunate to see Charles perform live twice – once as part of the Daptone Super Soul Revue in Vienna and in Belfast on his UK & Ireland tour. I never got to meet the great man when he played in Belfast even though I was hanging out with the band backstage after the show as Charles retired to his hotel room early as he got a little spooked by a somewhat over zealous fan. Welcome to Belfast, Charles!!
I should say, if you haven’t yet watched the docu-film “The Soul Of America” I’d highly recommend it. The film shows one man’s challenges in everyday life and is a touching and inspirational tale of one of the greatest performers of modern times. R.I.P. Charles, we love you!!