Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Music: Arthur Alexander

In an interview shortly after the release of his 1993 comeback album Lonely Just Like Me, Arthur Alexander explained why he left the music business. "When you make a hit record, you kinda want to get paid." Like many black artists of that era, the singer/songwriter signed over his publishing rights, believing he would receive royalties. For the most part, he earned little from songs like "Anna," and "You Better Move On," which were covered by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Alexander performed for a few more years, finally leaving the business for a steady job driving a social services bus in Cleveland. His return to music was brief; he died of a heart attack on June 9, 1993, shortly after beginning the album tour.

"Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)" wasn't authored by Alexander, but by the Nashville songwriting team of Cason and Moon. Alexander put the plaintive minor-key song on a single B-side, where it remained largely unnoticed until the Beatles performed it live on the BBC in 1963.

Arthur Alexander Biography [Link]

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