Charles Bradley, or “the Screaming Eagle of Soul,” was born in 1948 in Gainesville, Florida, where he lived with his grandmother until he was 8 years old. It was then that Bradley moved to Brooklyn, New York to live with his mother, where his sister took him to see James Brown perform at the Apollo Theater in 1962. And the rest, as they say, is history.
After running away from home — living in the streets and on subway cars — Bradley joined the Job Corps and worked as a chef in Maine for 10 years. While he performed with a band about five or six times, he went solo after his fellow bandmates were drafted into the Vietnam War.
Following the break up of his band, Bradley moved west — hitchhiking across the country and moving to upstate New York, Seattle, Canada and Alaska before settling in California, where he worked odd jobs and played small shows for 20 years.
While he was known to work as a James Brown impersonator, Bradley eventually signed with Daptone Records, where he became known for his funky yet soulful R&B style.
There’s nothing like the blues on a hot summer day, and I’m very much looking forward to Bradley’s set. You’d be hard pressed to find a more soulful singer on the Bonnaroo lineup, so Addam and I have been listening to a lot of him lately. Watch the video below for the best song that I’ve heard so far.
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and Addam and I will catch most of the set as we plan on seeing The Devil Makes Three at 12:30 and Das Racist at 2 p.m. It should make for a smooth start to our Saturday.
- Take it As It Comes (2002) (Single)
- Now That I’m Gone (2004) (Single)
- This Love Ain’t Big Enough for the Two of Us (2006) (Single)
- The World (Is Going Up in Flames) (2007) (Single)
- The Telephone Song (2008) (Single)
- Every Day is Christmas (When I’m Lovin’ You) (2010) (Single)
- No Time For Dreaming (2011)
Songs to Listen For:
Times at Roo: 0
Times I’ve Seen Him: 0
“Round and round the streets we go/Still see the same old thing/They still keep building more prisons/To take our kids away/Why can’t we show more love to make this a better day.” — Charles Bradley, Golden Rule (2011).