b. Arthur Lee Conley, 4th January 1946, McIntosh, Georgia, U.S.A.
d. 17th November 2003, Ruurlo, Netherlands.
Arthur Conley was a protégé of Otis Redding.
Born in McIntosh, Georgia in 1946, Arthur was raised in Atlanta and first recorded for the NRG label as Arthur And The Corvets.
In 1958, he joined the group The Evening Smiles, an all-female Gospel group that regularly performed on Atlanta's WAOK radio.
The group released three singles entitled 'Poor Girl', 'I Believe' and 'Flossie Mae'.
In 1964, Arthur joined musical forces with his father in Baltimore and recorded 'I'm A Lonely Stranger' for the Ru-Jac label.
During 1965, promoter Rufus Mitchell passed a copy of the Ru-Jac single to Otis Redding after a concert at the Baltimore Theatre.
Otis was impressed with 'I'm A Lonely Stranger' and Arthur was asked to go to Memphis to re-record the song at Stax Studios.
Jim Stewart produced the session with arranging assistance from Booker T.
Arthur Conley had nine billboard chart entries between 1967 to 1970.
It was in June 1967, that Arthur's recording career reached it's pinnacle with the release of the single 'Sweet Soul Music'.
The song made the Top Ten in Canada, England, the Netherlands and The Philippines.
'Sweet Soul Music' was Billboard's number 17 Pop record of 1967 and number 9 R & B.
In December, 1967 Billboard also named Arthur Conley as the number 11 Pop male artist and number 18 R & B singles artist.
Arthur recorded the song based upon 'Yeah Man', a re-working of a Sam Cooke tune.
After the tragic death of Otis Redding, Arthur's career lost some momentum, although he did score with the song 'Funky Street'.
He continued recording throughout the late Sixties before relocating to the Capricorn imprint in 1971 where he remained for the following three years.
These sessions included the singles 'I'm Living Good', 'Walking On Eggs', 'Rita' and 'Bless You'.
In the 1970's, Arthur resided in England and Belgium.
In 1980, he moved to the Netherlands and legally changed his name to Lee Roberts, (Roberts was his mother's maiden name.)
In 1988, Lee Roberts and the Sweaters released the 'Soulin' LP for the Blue Shadow imprint, recorded live in Amsterdam on the 6th of January 1980.
In 1995, Conley's Art-Con Productions included nine divisions, including Sweat Records, Upcoming Artists Records, Charity Records, Lee's Disc Shop, Happy Jack Publishing and the New Age Culture Exchange radio station.
'Sweet Soul Music' has been recorded by Rod Stewart, Jose Feliciano and Sam & Dave.
Tom Jones and Bruce Springsteen have also performed the song in concert.
Arthur Conley died from cancer in Ruurlo in the Netherlands in November 2003.
Research by Harry Young. Thank you Harry.
Sweet Soul Music (Atco Records 1967)
Shake, Rattle And Roll (Atco Records 1967)
Soul Directions (Atco Records 1968)
More Sweet Soul (Atco Records 1969)
One More Sweet Soul Music (Warners Records 1988)
as Lee Roberts And The Sweaters:
Soulin' (Blue Shadow Records 1988)