Charles Bradley – “Victim of Love”
Back in 2011, a little known soul man named Charles Bradley released his first ever LP, No Time For Dreaming on the fabled Brooklyn label Daptone. At 64 years old, Bradley was hardly breaking out in the prime of his youth, but with good reason. After seeing James Brown in 1964, he was inspired, imitating the late performer’s moves and working on his vocal chops. The music seemed to be where he was headed from early-on in his life, but with the Vietnam war breaking up his band and Bradley running away from home, his career was put on hold. Moving between homelessness and odd jobs across the country, Charles found trial in many aspects of his life. Moving back to Brooklyn to get to know his mother, he woke one morning to find his brother shot just down the street. Yet, the sorrow he endured fueled his dreams only further, with Bradley dropping the gig as a chef and picking up a microphone again. Playing small shows around New York as Black Velvet, he was eventually discovered by the founder of Daptone Records, Gabriel Roth, and given a recording deal which would lead to his debut in 2011. His long and inspiring journey towards music was documented only a few months later with the SXSW debut of his biopic, Charles Bradley: Soul of America.
Check out a video I shot of his show in Denver back in 2011: