Thursday, June 29, 2006

You oughtta know...

Arthur Alexander. He wrote a hell of a lot of classic southern soul songs, but he is criminally unknown, even to many fans of the modern classics. Some of his songs were covered by better-known artists; probably the most famous of these covers is the Beatles' version of "Anna," off Please Please Me. Bob Dylan covered his "Sally Sue Brown" on his album Down In the Groove. The song is credited (as on Dylan's site) to "J. Alexander," because it was first released under the name "June Alexander." I wonder why.

Discriminating fans of the roots of modern rock owe it to themselves to listen to Alexander's distinctive voice on this fine collection or this tribute album, boasting tracks by such distinguished luminaries as Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, John Prine, Frank Black, Roger McGuinn and others.

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