Alex Chilton was a big influence on bands like R.E.M., Trip Shakespeare (who recorded the Ballad of El Goodo) and The Replacements who wrote a song about him. The Memphis Commercial Appeal broke the story last night. He died suddenly of what is presumed to be a heart attack. Alex and the recently regrouped Big Star were scheduled to appear at SXSW this week. To many, he is probably best remember for his powerful vocals on The Letter and Cry Like A Baby when he was a member of the Box Tops.
I heard The Letter nonstop on WABC and never got sick of it. Classic rock song and classic vocals.