Arthur Alexander

It's impossible to listen to John Lennon without hearing a direct connection to Arthur Alexander — provided you know who that is. Consider pop music's Mount Rushmore: The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley. The Alabama-born singer, an early ­country-soul practitioner who died at age 53, is the only artist to have songs covered by this ultimate quartet; one listen to Lonely Just Like Me leaves no doubt of the man's direct influence on the first two. His hits — the heartrending "Anna," Ray Charles-like "You Better Move On" and Sam Cooke-ish "Every Day I Have to Cry" — are part of the canon of popular music. The Final Chapter is 18 tracks encompassing Alexander's Lonely Just Like Me album — produced by Ben Vaughan and released shortly before his death in 1993 — plus live material from an urbane but soulful NPR "Fresh Air" performance and interview, and a handful of hush-and-listen hotel-room demos that includes a version of Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man" that will stop you dead in your tracks. This is soul at its most primal and basic, a direct conduit to the Beatles and Stones.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
William Michael Smith