Songwriter and musician Donnie Fritts returned to his native home of Alabama to record a moving and deeply personal tribute to his longtime best friend Arthur Alexander, the soul singer and songwriter of tunes covered by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, among countless others.
The LP June takes its title from the nickname given to the late artist, who was actually named Arthur Alexander Jr. Fritts wrote the title cut in June 1993 on the ride back to Muscle Shoals from the Nashville hospital where Alexander succumbed to complications from a heart attack. “My heart was broken, but I wanted to express how I felt about him,” says Fritts. “So I did it the only way I knew how – I wrote a song for him.” June was produced by John Paul White and Ben Tanner and recorded in the evenings at the original location of the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
Fritts, who began playing in Kris Kristofferson’s band in 1970 and appeared in three films with him, is also well known for his songwriting, which has included “We Had It All,” a song recorded by both Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings. His “Breakfast in Bed” was cut by Dusty Springfield for her landmark Dusty in Memphis LP.
Also included on June are Fritts’ haunting version of the history-making “You Better Move On,” which was covered by the Rolling Stones and also became a country hit as a duet by George Jones and Johnny Paycheck. “It was the first R&B hit record to come out of the Muscle Shoals area,” Fritts notes. “Groups like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles loved June’s songs. They recorded a few of them, too.” The Beatles cut “Soldier of Love,” which Fritts also updates on his album.
June will be released August 31st on Single Lock Records and is now available for pre-order.
Here’s the album’s track listing:
- “In The Middle of It All”
- “You Better Move On”
- “All the Time”
- “I’d Do It Over Again”
- “Come Along With Me
- “Lonely Just Like Me”
- “Soldier of Love”
- “Thank God He Came”
- “Adios Amigo”