"How long?" shouts Charles Bradley, and it's like an electric shock, and an existential question. It's King Lear raging in the storm. Mahalia Jackson or Martin Luther King, asking when will the misery of segregation end? Set my people free. For Bradley, it's a question about all the world's woes, but it's also very personal. As Bradley tells SOUND TRACKS reporter Marco Werman in this "Quick Hits" interview, his moment in the sun has been a long time coming.
Born into poverty, growing up with no parents around, Bradley describes how he was saved from homelessness and addiction by Lyndon Johnson's Job Corps. His religious faith and occasional gigs as a James Brown imitator known as "Black Velvet" kept Bradley "keeping on." But his dream of being a singer in his own right -- his own man -- was a dream deferred until Daptone Record's co-founder Gabriel Roth discovered Bradley singing in a Brooklyn bar. With support from producer Thomas Brenneck and backing from the Menahan Street Band, Bradley is now making up for lost time. No surprise that his first album -- after all these years -- is called "No Time for Dreaming." There's work to be done.
Charles Bradley's official website: http://www.thecharlesbradley.com/
Daptone Records: http://www.daptonerecords.com/
Segment presented by Sound Tracks: http://www.pbs.org/opb/soundtracks/