Alex Chilton, 1950-2010

Alex Chilton was a god of power pop. He never had a big hit after a couple of chart-toppers with The Box Tops in Memphis in the late 1960s (including "The Letter," the shortest No. 1 song of the rock era....look it up!), but his influence loomed over modern music until the day he died, which was yesterday of a heart attack at age 59. If you don't believe me, just do a Google blog search this morning on the phrase "children by the millions" (from the remarkable tribute song "Alex Chilton" by the Replacements.) His best music was so ahead of its time that it didn't get the radio play or sales it deserved -- especially with the group Big Star in the early 1970s. Listen to "September Gurls" (at bottom) and see what I mean.

And have a good weekend, which will be longer than usual for me because of one of my final book research junkets. I can't imagine anything important will happen this weekend :-) -- but if it does, you can talk about it here: