Arthur Alexander 

Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Arthur Alexander's life ended on a note as bittersweet as his own country-soul songs of anguish and loss. After christening Muscle Shoals with his 1961 hit "You Better Move On," he found his songs covered by the Rolling Stones and Beatles. Superb singles and minor success followed with "Every Day I Have to Cry Some," but by the late '70s he'd left the music business to work with disadvantaged children. He might have remained in obscurity had Elektra executive Danny Kahn and artist and producer Ben Vaughn not tracked him down in the early '90s and convinced him to perform again.

With many of his original accompanists, Alexander waxed a dozen tracks in Nashville, mixing earlier chestnuts with new compositions. His performances were filled with the pathos of both his songwriting and the weathering of life, and his new songs, including the Drifters-styled "Johnny Heartbreak" and New Orleans-inflected "Genie in the Jug," were emotionally powerful. Vaughn stripped the remakes of the original's strings and backing vocals, liberating them from the early '60s by focusing on the essence of their Southern soul.

Tragically, Alexander's comeback was cut short by a heart attack three days after a triumphant Nashville concert. His final months provided reaffirmation with a rush of interviews and live performances, but this recorded exclamation point never gained the commercial success it deserved. Hacktone's reissue of the original 1993 LP adds interview and live tracks from NPR's Fresh Air, hotel room demos, and the 1992 live performance of "Anna" that originally inspired Kahn to track down Alexander. This is a fitting tribute and a worthy final chapter.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

  • Samantha Crain

    The Confiscation
    • Jul 16, 2008
  • Arthur Lyman

    Bwana A/Bahia, On Broadway/The Colorful Percussions, Many Moods of Arthur Lyman/Love for Sale, Cotton Fields/Blowin' in the Wind, Isle of Enchantment/Polynesia, Lyman '66/The Shadow of Your Smile, Ilikai/At the Port of Los Angeles, Latitude 20/Aphrodisia
    • May 28, 2008
  • More»

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation