Saturday, September 24, 2016

Arthur Alexander and his lost legacy, the forgotten Anders J. Smedsvik

A musician i knew nothing of until I watched the documentary about Muscle Shoals, is Arthur Alexander. He had a small discography but loomed large in the music industry in the middle of the last century. Wikipedia says,
Arthur Alexander (May 10, 1940 – June 9, 1993) was an American country songwriter and soul singer. Jason Ankeny, music critic for Allmusic, said Alexander was a "country-soul pioneer" and that, though largely unknown, "his music is the stuff of genius, a poignant and deeply intimate body of work on par with the best of his contemporaries." Alexander wrote songs publicized by such stars as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Tina Turner and Jerry Lee Lewis. Alexander is the only songwriter whose songs have been covered on studio albums by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (who recorded "Sally Sue Brown" on his 1988 LP Down in the Groove). "Go Home Girl" was also recorded by Ry Cooder on his 1979 album Bop Till You Drop.
Here is his most famous song, You Better Move On, and its cover by Knopfler and Jackson. He is a man who made a huge impact but his legacy has been lost.

Mark Knopfler and Chuck Jackson, tribute to Arthur Alexander

Dagbladet, a Norwegian journal, wrote a long biography of a man named Anders J. Smedsvik, a sailor and eccentric. I found his story extremely interesting. It's written in English.

The Final Journey of Anders J. Smedsvik
For three weeks in 1972 and then again in 1974, the sea captain, communist, farmer, prisoner of war, adventurer, local politician and peace activist Anders Jenius Smedsvik was a household name in south-west Norway. Then he disappeared and has been forgotten ever since. This is the first time his story has been told in full.

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