Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nov. 17: Soul singer Arthur Conley, "Sweet Soul Music" died on this date in 2003...

... he was  57 years-old when he passed away.
Conley was born in McIntosh County, Georgia and grew up in Atlanta. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & the Corvets. They released three singles in 1963 and 1964, "Poor Girl," "I Believe" and "Flossie Mae" on the Atlanta based record label, National Recording Company.

In 1964, he moved to a new label, Baltimore's Ru-Jac Records, and released "I'm a Lonely Stranger." When Otis Redding heard the song, he asked Conley to record a new version, which was released on Redding's own fledgling label Jotis Records, as only its second release.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

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Platinum Collection

Redding taught Arthur the insa and outs of the music industry. Together they re-wrote the Sam Cooke song "Yeah Man" into "Sweet Soul Music," which, at Redding's insistence, was released on the Atco-distributed label Fame Records, and was recorded at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It proved to be a huge hit, going to the number two position on the U.S. charts and the Top Ten across much of Europe.

"Sweet Soul Music" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

After several years of singles in the early 1970s, Arthur relocated to England in 1975, and spent several years in Belgium, then settled in Amsterdam, Netherlands in spring 1977. In the beginning of 1980 he had some major performances as Lee Roberts and the Sweaters in the Ganzenhoef, Paradiso, De Melkweg and the Concertgebouw, and was highly successful.

At the end of 1980 he moved to the Dutch village of Ruurlo and legally changed his name to Lee Roberts (his middle name and his mother's maiden name). There he promoted his music by through his Art-Con Productions company.

Amongst the bands he promoted was the heavy metal band Shockwave from the Hague. Arthur was also active as a designer of specialized tapestries and furniture.

A live performance on January 8, 1980, featuring Lee Roberts & the Sweaters, was released as an album entitled Soulin' in 1988.

Arthur Conley died after a long battle with intestinal cancer in Ruurlo, Netherlands at the age of 57 in November 2003.


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