Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alex Chilton RIP

Sad news, Alex Chilton, lead singer for the Box Tops and leader of the influential, but not commercially successful, Big Star, has passed.

Chilton was only 16 when the Box Tops' first single "The Letter," rocketed to the top of the charts in 1967, not only spending four weeks at number one but ending up as Billboard magazine's number one single of the year. I must have played the 45 of  "The Letter" hundreds of times.  It's a classic. 

I am still a big fan of blue-eyed soul and it makes me sad that, in many ways, American popular music is more segregated today than it was forty years ago. And, the few areas that are partial exceptions (rap)strike me as musical dreck. On the other hand, I guess I ought to remember that the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds are other, less inspiring, of the cross-ethnic music of the 1960s.

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