The career of singer-songwriter Arthur Alexander was not long, but his craftsmanship of classic rock and soul songs made a permanent impact on the music scene. His influence crossed over many genres and he wrote number 1 hits for the Beatles, Otis Redding and many more.
Alexander’s career began in the early 1950s starting in his hometown of Florence, Alabama, USA. He was quickly recognized for his powerful vocal and songwriting skills, recording throughout the 60s. Although he had deals and sessions with labels like Dot Records, he wasn’t able to find the legal or artistic success he craved. His works were covered by many great artists and session musicians, but he was rarely given the credit and appreciation he deserved. Despite the lack of recognition and accolades, Alexander still beamed with quality and creativity all the way to his death in 1993.
The Influence of Arthur Alexander:
Alexander’s work had a profound influence on many classic records and songs which would eventually be recognized as iconic. Here are just a few examples of his legacy:
- The Beatles: “Anna (Go to Him)” – Covered by The Beatles in 1963, was originally recorded by Arthur Alexander in 1962 and was released as a single.
- Otis Redding: “That’s How Strong My Love Is” – Otis Redding’s early 1965 single was a cover of the Alexander composition that was originally released in 1964.
- Rolling Stones: “You Better Move on” – Covered by the Rolling Stones in 1964, was originally composed by Arthur Alexander in 1962 released as a single and featured on his self-titled album.
Where Have You Been All my Life, Arthur Alexander?
Today, Arthur Alexander is a hidden gem in the rock ‘n’ roll and soul music world. He has recently been ‘discovered’ by contemporary acts like Ryan Adams and Wilco, who have covered and interpreted his songs with their own unique touch.
It’s sad that he isn’t widely celebrated and remembered in the present, because he was talented and ahead of his time. The influence he had on so much of the music that has been released in the last 60 years is remarkable.
So next time you want to sit back and listen to some classics, don’t forget to check out Arthur Alexander – where have you been all my life?