10 May 1940
Sheffield, Colbert County, Alabama, United States
9 June 1993 (aged 53)
Arthur Alexander (May 10, 1940 – June 9, 1993), born in Florence, Alabama, was perhaps one of the biggest stars to arise out of the American country-soul scene. Working with Muscle Shoals, a pioneering record label, Alexander's "You Better Move On" was the label's first hit and perhaps his best-known song, covered by The Rolling Stones. "Anna (Go to Him)" a US rhythm and blues Top Ten Hit (covered by The Beatles), "Soldier of Love" (covered by The Beatles, Marshall Crenshaw and Pearl Jam) and "Set Me Free" (covered by Esther Phillips and Joe Tex) were also major hits and established Alexander as a pioneering arranger of others' tunes, as well as an established songwriter in his own right. He switched to another label, Sound Stage 7 founded by Fred Foster, and although a 1972 album for Warner Brothers was promising, the singer's potential seemed to wither. He secured a pop hit with "Every Day I Have To Cry" on Buddah Records (1975), but the success remained shortlived. For many years, Alexander was out of the music business; he was a bus driver for much of this time. He began to perform again in 1993 as renewed interest was shown in his small but important catalogue. His last album "Lonely Just Like Me" was his first in 21 years. He signed a new recording/publishing contract in May 1993 but suffered the cruelest fate when he collapsed and died of a heart attack the following month, three days after performing in Nashville with his new band.
Arthur Alexander deserves a special mention in pop and rock history for his particular influence, as indicated, on the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It is believed that John Lennon, in particular, was heavily influenced in his singing style by Arthur Alexander. The above-mentioned tracks such as 'Anna', 'You Better Move On' and 'Soldier of Love', in particular, but maybe also 'Go Home Girl' might confirm this artist's influence on the Beatles and his influence, if the listener needs further convincing after hearing 'You Better Move On', on the Rolling Stones.
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