How Charles Bradley turned pain into powerful soul music

Soul singer Charles Bradley would have turned 70 years old, this week. His friend and closest collaborator, guitarist Tom Brenneck, shares his memories of what it was like to work with, write songs with, and just hang out with the "screaming eagle of soul."
Musician Charles Bradley poses for a portrait at Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Brookside Golf Course at on June 24, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Originally published on November 8, 2018

Soul singer Charles Bradley would have turned 70 years old this week. His music often came from a place of pain: he lived through poverty and tragedy, and only found success in the music industry once he was in his 60s. Bradley was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and passed away in September 2017 at the age of 68.

A year after his death, a posthumous album of his work, including some previously unreleased material, is now being released. Bradley's closest collaborator, guitarist Tom Brenneck, shares his memories of what it was like to work with, write songs with, and just hang out with the "screaming eagle of soul."

Black Velvet, a new compilation record of Bradley's music, comes out tomorrow.

Produced by ​Ben Edwards

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