Arthur Alexander – Country and R&B Pioneer

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What is Arthur Alexander’s most successful song?

Alexander’s most successful hit was the R&B classic “You Better Move On” which was recorded in Muscle Schoals, AL. The song was later covered by the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, George Jones, and Johnny Paycheck. Impressive to say the least.

Early life and influences

Singer-songwriter Arthur Alexander was the son of a guitarist who performed blues on each Saturday around Sheffield, Alabama. Arthur never reached meteoric fame with his own recordings in the 60s, but is country, soulful music was well respected by such greats as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Pearl Jam to name just a few did covers of his work.

Alexander was African American but he spent his most of the early life in the white country music scene as well as the emerging rhyme and blues scene. It was that combination that created his unique sound and garnered strong interest in the music community.

Arthur Alexander – “You Better Move On”

Later career

Alexander’s most successful hit was the R&B classic “You Better Move On” which was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL. The song was later covered by the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, George Jones, and Johnny Paycheck. Impressive to say the least.

Alexander’s bright future soon turned dim after his success with additional songs such as “Where Have I Been,” “Go Home Girl, “Anna (Go to Him)”, “Everyday I Have to Cry Some,” and “Sharing the Night Together,” and a few others. But Alexander never seemed to take to fame had had odd short live appearances in various venues then eventually sort of disappeared. He had various appearances later in the 70s working with Carl Perkins and others.

Later in life Alexander, returned to Muscle Shoals in the early 1990s. In a comeback bid, he recorded and released what was to be sadly his last studio album Lonely Just Lke Me. He was in the middle of the tour in support of his new album but unfortunately he suddenly passed away from a heart attack on June 9, 1993.

Although Arthur Alexander’s name won’t probably ring bells at an instant, his body work is undeniably influential, and he’s also considered a “country-soul pioneer.” Many of his songs have been covered by many big artists as diverse as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley.

List of Arthur Alexander’s charting singles

  • 1962 – “You Better Move On” (#24 pop)
  • 1962 – “Where Have You Been All My Life” (#58 pop)
  • 1962 – “Anna (Go to Him)” (#68 pop, #10 R&B)
  • 1963 – “Go Home Girl” (#102 pop)
  • 1963 – “Pretty Girls Everywhere” (#118 pop)
  • 1975 – “Every Day I Have to Cry Some” (#45 pop)
  • 1976 – “Sharing the Night Together” (#92 R&B)

List of Arthur Alexander’s studio albums

  • You Better Move On (1962)
  • Arthur Alexander (1972)
  • Lonely Just Like Me (1993)
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