March 17, 2010 – William Alexander “Alex” Chilton was born in Memphis, Tennessee on December 28, 1950 . He became best known for his work with pop-music bands the Box Tops and Big Star. In 1966, while at Memphis’ Central High School, Alex was invited to join a local band The Devilles as their lead singer, after learning of the popularity of his vocal performance at a talent show; this band was later renamed Box Tops.
He was 16 years old when he and the Boxtops had their No.1 international hit “The Letter”. In 1971 Alex along with Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel formed the rock band Big Star. They released two albums “No.1 Record” and “Radio City” before breaking up in 1974.
He continued as a solo artist and in 1979 he co-founded, played guitar with, and produced some albums for Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, which began as an offbeat rock-and-roll group deconstructing blues, country, and rockabilly music.
From the late-1980s through the 1990s with bassist Ron Easley and eventually drummer Richard Dworkin, he gained a reputation for his eclectic taste in cover versions, guitar work, and laconic stage presence. After which he performed live yearly, with sporadic solo, Box Tops and Big Star shows in theatres and at festivals around the world.
He died sadly of a suspected heart attack on March 17, 2010 at the age of 59.