Monday, February 2, 2009

Al Green

Albert Greene was born on April 13th, 1946. He's better known as Al Green and he is a Gospel and Soul Music singer. In the 1970's Al received great acclaim and at the 2008 BET (Black Entertainment Television)Awards he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of all the work he's done in his career.
Al was born in Forrest City, Arkansas. The sixth of ten children he was born to Robert and Cora Greene. He was the son of a sharecropper and at the age of ten he began performing in a Forrest City quartet called the 'Greene Brothers'. Years later as a solo artist he dropped the last "e" from his last name. In the Mid 50's they toured extensively in the South til the Greenes moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, It was there that they began their Michigan tour. But after being caught listening to Jackie Wilson (another Artist) Al's father kicked him out of the group. In High School Al formed a group called 'Al Greene & The Creations.' Two members of the group Curtis Rogers and Palmer James later went on to form and independent label called "Hot Line Music Journal" By the time 1967 came around the band had renamed themselves Al Green & the Soul Mates. It was this same year that the band recorded "Back Up Train" and released it on their own label. It was a R&B chart hit, yet their next single didn't do as well. Later on in the year Al Green released his first LP which was an upbeat and soulful album but didn't do too well in sales. In 1969 Green came into contact with band Leader Willie Mitchell of Memphis' Hi Records. It was here and then that Mitchell hired him as a vocalist for a Texas show with Mitchell's band and later asked him to sign with the label.

^ AL Green ^
This is the Man RIght Here

Stardom was predicted for Green by Mitchell so he coached him to find his own, unique voice during a period when he had been trying to sound like his heroes: Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, and Sam Cooke. His Debut album on Mitchell's new Label was 'Green is Blue.' It was a slow, horn-driven album and it showcased Green's powerful and expressive voice. It was arranged, engineered, and produced by Mitchel;l himself. Still the album was only moderatly successful.The next album was in 1970 and it was 'Al Green Gets Next to You' it was a major success that featured four gold singles. During this time Green developed his vocal and songwriting talents. Two years later 'Lets Stay Together', an even more successful LP was released along with 'I'm Still in Love With You'. Although their great success his most fondly remembered album to date is 'Call me'. "Take Me to the River", a song on his 1974 album 'Al Green Explores Your Mind' was later covered by the 'Talking Heads'.Mary Woodson, a girlfriend of Green's assaulted him before killing herself at his Memphis home on October 18th, 1974. It was reported that Woodson was already married but became upset when Al Green refused to marry her. At one point of the evening, Woodson hit Green with a pan of boiling grits while he was in the shower. This caused third-degree burns on his back, stomach and arms. Shortly after Woodson then shot herself with Green's gun. It was around this time (late 70's) he had already begun concentrating almost completely on Gospel Music. The previous incident was looked upon by Green as a wake-up call to change his life. Shortly after he became am ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. During a performance in 1979 Green hurt himself while performing and saw the injury as a message from God. He then decided to focus all his energy into being the Pastor of his church and gospel singing. In 1982 he appeared side by side with Patti Labelle in the Broadway musical 'Your Arms Too Short to Box with God'. He then made his first gospel album 'The Lord Will Make a Way'. Between 1981 and 1989 while recording a series of gospel recordings he gathered eight "soul gospel performance" Grammys. A director Robert Mugge released a documentary film in 1984 called Gospel According to Al Green. He included interviews about his life and footage from his church.After several year of exclusively recording Gospel Al Green returned to R&B working with other artist, and doing so much as releasing a book. In 2006, Green worked on his latest studio album for Blue Note Records with ' The Roots' Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson. The album, Lay It Down, was released May 27, 2008 and includes tracks featuring John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae and Anthony Hamilton. Green said in an interview that he would have liked to duet with Marvin Gaye: "In those days, people didn't sing together like they do now," he said.

My Thoughts:
Being a Fan of all different types of Music I've always been a fan of Al Green seeing as how my father was also a fan. I've always said that I get/have gotten very few things from my father (by the way Happy Birthday to Him)but my love for Music is most definitely one of them. With tha said this is my mini-report on Al Green. Peace, "Love and Happiness" lol.

1 comment:

Jus Capital H said...

Cuz Al Green Is One Of My Favorites...Good Looks On This Post...