I don't know why but until recently I had always assumed that Arthur Alexander was white. Maybe it was because I had first come across his name in tandem with that of Mose Allison, who is white (I'm really not a lover of white guys trying to play "the Blues", although in Mose' defence his style is more Jazz). Maybe it was because the only music I knew by Arthur Alexander were insipid covers of "Anna Go To Him" by The Beatles and "You Better Move On" by the Rolling Stones. I've never been much of a fan of either of those groups. I'd much rather get my '60's kicks from the Small Faces, The Kinks or The Who.
I'm not much of a fan of Elvis Presley either, never have been. I can appreciate the importance of what he did at Sun Records but I'd much rather get my shots of '50's rock 'n' roll from Jerry Lee or Eddie Cochran or Little Richard.
So I'm therefore pleased to have recently discovered that Arthur Alexander was Afro-American, otherwise we might now be talking about a record featuring two of my least favourite things; a white "blues" artist performing, what became, an Elvis Presley hit.
As it is what we have is Arthur's 1972 original version of a song that Mr Presley took to #2 in the US a few months later. Legend has it that "The King" didn't much care for the song and was uncomfortable performing it even though it gave him his last US top 10 hit.
Arthur's version however thunders along. This is another record I came across thanks to the (sadly now defunct) Makin' Trax Blog that highlighted records that have, in the past, been played on the Northern/Rare Soul scene that might be ripe for revival and the copy I've bought is a white label promo with the same song on both sides (mono and stereo mixes) in practically mint condition. It's very "southern soul" in arrangement and style and I'm not sure how it's going to go down when presented to the dancers. Oh well I guess I'll find out at Telford Soul Club on November 12th.
In the meantime let me know what you think of of Mr Arthur Alexanders hunk-a-hunk-a "Burnin' Love"...enjoy!
2 days ago