Alex Chilton: The House of Representatives pays tribute

Alex-ChiltonImage Credit: Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty ImagesMemphis rock icon Alex Chilton, who died Wednesday, may not always have received a fitting degree of commercial success. But he certainly received a heartfelt tribute in the House of Representatives earlier today from Democrat Steve Cohen, who serves Tennessee’s 9th District. Cohen started by saying he had a “heavy heart” because of Chilton’s death and the politician did sound genuinely upset as he recounted the singer-songwriter’s career and achievements, and recited the lyrics to the Box Tops’ hit “The Letter,” which I’ve embedded below. He also noted that Chilton was an influence on both R.E.M. and the Replacements (which I would wager is the first time the latter have been name checked in Congress, though I would be happy to be proven wrong).

“He is an embodiment of Memphis music—hard, different, independent, brilliant, beautiful,” Cohen concluded. “We’re lucky he came our way.” To which we at the Music Mix can only add a loud, “Hear, hear!”

More on Alex Chilton:
Alex Chilton: An appreciation
Alex Chilton dies at 59

Comments (16 total) Add your comment
  • JC

    It’s great to see so many stories across the net today paying respect to Alex Chilton. He’s one of the true greats that never rose above cult status to the masses but is every bit the giant to the people who are his fans.

  • chris

    not to be rude, but i’ve never even heard of this guy…

    • Cleamon

      Do yourself a favour and check it out.

    • ksteich

      lucky you. i’m serious. i’d give anything to hear the songs again for the first time. you know the letter. and in the street from that 70s show. start with “#1 record” and “radio city,” learn to appreciate “3rd/sister lovers” and then tackle the brilliant slop that is “like flies on sherbert.”

    • Scan

      If you’ve seen the opening credits for “That 70s Show” then you’ve heard an Alex Chilton song. “In the Street” was co-written with Chris Bell, and appeared in the Big Star album “#1 Record.” It’s a great starting point!

  • om

    Chris — that’s not rude, it’s just — regrettably — the truth for most people. If you’re any kind of a rock’n’roll fan, do yourself a HUGE favor and buy Big Star’s first two albums, #1 Record and Radio City (both on one CD). Melodic rock has never been done better — not by the Beatles, not by the Byrds, not by anyone.

  • Scooter

    My wife and I danced our first dance at our wedding to “I’m in Love with a Girl”. Thanks Alex, you were the greatest

    • Clem Fendwich

      Funny. That was our wedding song also. Short and sweet.

  • Brendan Hay

    I’m still sad about Alex Chilton’s passing, but I must say, learning that The Replacements were mentioned in Congress? That just brought a huge smile to my face.

  • Jason

    Wow, a member of congress name-checked my favorite bands from childhood (Replacements and REM)? I feel old… And I only knew of Chilton from the ‘Mats, but because of them I knew more about him. One day Paul Westerberg will die and people will say “who?” and we will have to talk about how he and the ‘Mats influenced 90’s bands like Nirvana et. al

  • John

    Rest in Peace, Alex. Thank you for sharing your great songs, talent and voice with us fans. You will be missed by all. I love “The Letter” & Big Star. All of it was fantastic music! Sincerest Condolences to his family.

  • Charlie L

    I wasn’t a huge fan, seen him live as a solo artist, spotty at best. But his influence was immeasurable, but maybe you never heard of REM either. I believe you hear his influence in them (REM) more than REM’s influence on anyone else. And if you never heard “The Letter” by the Boxtops… well there is no help, well you could try & pull your head out.

    Further more, you will never be “free again”&”You Can’t Have Me” at “Nightime” & it will be a “Holocaust” in “Bangkok” if you don’t “Kizza Me” now, And there will be “No Sex” in the “Volare” till you “Take it off” & we “Make a little love”. I already “Lost my job” to “My Rival” the “Kanga-Roo” it seems they’re on me “Like Flies on Sherbert” I just “Can’t seem to make you mine” But I am still “Rock Hard” doing this” Thing for You”

    RIP Alex

  • Dennis

    It’s sad when anyone dies, and fans always have a right to mourn. But seriously now, is this what these clowns think they are sent to Washington to do? Talk about their favorite singer who just died, or pass meaningless resolutions honoring this person or expressing “solidarity” with those people?

  • Mary Anne Tom

    Too bad a thoughtless person here thinks that resolutions honoring great American talent is “meaningless.” Yes, this is one of the more productive things any member of Congress can do. Better than filibustering “meaningful” legislation. But, I digress. Love the video. Thanks for posting. These old clips are always hysterical. One of the greatest pop songs of all time. RIP Alex.

  • Alex fan

    Hey Dennis – they were close friends, and it took about a minute for him to say…in the words of the great Buckaroo Banzai: “Don’t be mean…we don’t have to be mean.”

  • viviennewestwood

    Thanks for interesting blog post. You guys are always provide information that it makes it impossible not to want to buy your next product ;I cant wait to see what you guys come up with based on all your research and data that you gather.

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