In Memory Of Alex Chilton: Listen Again To 'The Letter' : The Two-Way Alex Chilton, frontman for The Box Tops, dies at the age of 59.
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In Memory Of Alex Chilton: Listen Again To 'The Letter'

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In Memory Of Alex Chilton: Listen Again To 'The Letter'

In Memory Of Alex Chilton: Listen Again To 'The Letter'

One of rock's greatest voices died yesterday.

Many have sung The Letter, but it was Alex Chilton's voice on The Box Tops' version that topped the pop charts in 1967.

He died in New Orleans yesterday, at the age of 59. The Times-Picayune says the cause of death is thought to be a heart attack.

His widow, Laura Chilton, tells NPR's Tom Cole that Alex was mowing the lawn when he collapsed.

Stephen Thompson over at the All Songs Considered blog, who knows much more about music than we do, lauds Chilton's work with the band Big Star -- which was scheduled to perform at South by Southwest this Saturday night.

Laura Chilton says her husband was most proud of his work producing a punk band called The Cramps.

For many of us boomers, though, it's Chilton's voice on The Letter that we'll remember best. Here's a taste. Feel free to sing along:

In Memory Of Alex Chilton: Listen Again To 'The Letter'

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Update at 9:35 a.m. ET. There's a lengthy appreciation of Chilton by the Chicago Sun-Times' Jim DeRogatison, who calls the singer "a legend of the Memphis music scene and one of the founding fathers of the power-pop movement." And, DeRogatison notes, Chilton "became a true hero to a new generation of musicians, and elements of Big Star's sound were embraced by a new wave of bands led by R.E.M."

And it should be remembered that The Replacements honored him with the song Alex Chilton.