Arthur Alexander (May 10, 1940 – June 9, 1993), born in Sheffield, Alabama, was perhaps one of the biggest stars to arise out of the American country soul scene. Jason Ankeny, music critic for Allmusic, said Alexander was a "country-soul pioneer" and though largely unknown, "his music is the stuff of genius, a poignant and deeply intimate body of work on par with the best of his contemporaries.
Working with Spar Music in Florence, Alabama, Alexander recorded his first single, "Sally Sue Brown," under the name of June Alexander,(short for Junior),which was released in 1960 on Jud Phillips' Judd Records. (Phillips is the brother of music pioneer Sam Phillips).
A year later, Alexander cut "You Better Move On" at a former tobacco warehouse-turned-recording studio in Muscle Shoals. Released on Nashville's Dot Records, the song became a soul/R&B chart hit, and laid the foundation for the modern recording studio FAME. "You Better Move On" is perhaps Alexander's best-known song, covered by the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, George Jones & Johnny Paycheck and Mink DeVille. "Anna (Go to Him)", a U.S. R&B Top Ten Hit, was covered by the Beatles and Humble Pie.
The Beatles also did live recordings of "Soldier of Love", which was also performed by Marshall Crenshaw and Pearl Jam, "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues", and "Where Have You Been" recorded live at the Star-Club, in Hamburg, 1962. "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.
In the mid-1960s, Alexander switched to another label, Sound Stage 7, but failed to find commercial success. 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 in 1975, but the success remained short-lived. The fine follow-up single "Sharing The Night Together" (written by
For many years, Alexander was out of the music business; he was a bus driver for much of this time. In 1990, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. In July 1990, he performed at local area events, the grand opening of the Hall of Fame Museum in Tuscumbia, and Tuscumbia's Spring Park 13th Helen Keller Festival. this success helped convince him to return to the music business.
Alexander deserves a special mention in pop and rock history for his influence on the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It is believed that John Lennon, in particular, was heavily influenced by Alexander's singing style. Alexander is the only songwriter whose songs have been covered by the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan (who recorded "Sally Sue Brown" on his 1988 LP Down in the Groove.) As further evidence of his influence, "Go Home Girl" was also recorded by the eclectic guitarist and singer Ry Cooder on his ground-breaking 1979 album Bop Till You Drop.(Info mainly Wikipedia)