Al Green (musician)

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Let's_Stay_Together.jpg
Al Green on the cover of Let's Stay Together

Reverend Al Green (b. April 13, 1946) is an American gospel and soul music singer, born in Forrest City, Arkansas. The son of a sharecropper, he started out at age nine in a Forrest City quartet called the Greene Brothers; he dropped the final "e" from his last name years later as a solo artist. They toured extensively in the mid-1950s in the South until the Greenes moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when they began to tour around Michigan. He was kicked out of the group by his father because he was caught listening to Jackie Wilson.

Green formed a group called Al Greene & the Creations in high school. Curtis Rogers and Palmer James, two members of the Creations, formed an independent label called Hot Line Music Journal. The band, now known as the Soul Mates, recorded "Back Up Train" and released it on Hot Line Music; the song was an R&B chart hit. The Soul Mates' subsequent singles did not sell as well. Al Green met bandleader Willie Mitchell of Memphis' Hi Records in 1969, when Mitchell had hired him as a vocalist for a Texas show with Mitchell's band and then asked him to sign with the label.

Mitchell predicted stardom for Green, coaching him to find his own, unique voice at a time when Green had previously been trying to sing like his heroes Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, and Sam Cooke. Green's debut album with Hi Records was Green is Blue, a slow, horn-driven album that allowed Green to show off his powerful and expressive voice, with Mitchell arranging, engineering, and producing. The album was a moderate success. The next LP, though, Al Green Gets Next To You (1970), was a massive success that included four gold singles as Green developed his vocal and songwriting talents. Let's Stay Together (1972) was an even bigger success, as was I'm Still In Love With You (1972). Call Me was a critical sensation, and was also just as popular at the time; it is one of his most fondly remembered albums today.

On October 18, 1974, Green's girlfriend, Mary Woodson, poured boiling grits on him as he was showering, causing second-degree burns on his back, stomach and arm. She then killed herself in an adjacent bedroom. Green converted to Christianity after recovering from the assault and in 1976 became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis. Continuing to record R&B, Green saw his sales start to slip and the critics grew steadily harsher. 1977's The Belle Album was critically acclaimed but did not regain his former mass audience. In 1979, Green was injured while performing and interpreted this accident as a message from God. He then concentrated his energies towards pastoring his church and gospel singing, also appearing in 1982 with Patti Labelle in the musical Your Arms Too Short to Box With God. His first gospel album was The Lord Will Make a Way. From 1981 to 1989 Green recorded a series of gospel recordings, garnering eight "soul gospel performance" Grammys in that period. In 1984 director Robert Mugge released a documentary film, The Gospel According to Al Green, including interviews about his life and footage from his church.

After spending several years exclusively performing gospel, Green began to return to R&B. First, he released a duet with Annie Lennox, "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" for Scrooged, a Bill Murray film. His 1994 duet with country music singer Lyle Lovett blended country with R&B, garnering him ninth Grammy, this time in a pop music category. Green's first secular album in some time was Your Heart's In Good Hands (1995), released to positive reviews but disappointing sales, the same year Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Green published Take Me to the River, a book discussing his career. The Grammys presented Green with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

Green released in 2003 a non-religious (secular) album entitled I Can't Stop, his first collaboration with Willie Mitchell since 1985's He is the Light. The next year, Green was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Discography and chart ranking

  • 1967 "Back Up Train"
  • 1970 "Green is Blues" #19 US
  • 1971 "Al Green Gets Next to You" #58 US
  • 1972 "Let's Stay Together" #8 US
  • 1972 "I'm Still in Love with You" #4 US
  • 1972 "Al Green" (compilation) #162 US
  • 1973 "Call Me" #10 US
  • 1973 "Livin' for You" #24 US
  • 1974 "Al Green Explores Your Mind" #15 US
  • 1975 "Al Green is Love" #28 US
  • 1975 "Al Green's Greatest Hits" #17 US, #18 UK
  • 1976 "Full of Fire" #59 US
  • 1976 "Have a Good Time" #93 US
  • 1977 "The Belle Album" #103 US
  • 1977 "Al Green's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" #134 US
  • 1978 "Truth N' Time"
  • 1980 "The Lord Will Make a Way"
  • 1981 "Higher Plane"
  • 1981 "Tokyo Live"
  • 1982 "Precious Lord"
  • 1983 "I'll Rise Again"
  • 1983 "The Christmas Album"
  • 1984 "Trust in God"
  • 1985 "He is the Light"
  • 1986 "White Christmas"
  • 1987 "Soul Survivor" #131 US
  • 1988 "Hi Life - The Best of Al Green" #34 UK
  • 1989 "I Get Joy"
  • 1992 "Love is Reality"
  • 1993 "Gospel Soul"
  • 1995 "Your Heart's in Good Hands"
  • 2000 "Take Me to the River" (compilation) #186 US
  • 2001 "Feels Like Christmas"
  • 2002 "Love - The Essential Al Green" #18 UK
  • 2003 "I Can't Stop" #53 US
  • 2003 "The Love Songs Collection" (compilation) #91 US
  • 2005 "Everything's OK"

Hit singles

  • 1971 "Tired of Being Alone" #11 US, #4 UK
  • 1972 "Let's Stay Together" #1 US, #7 UK
  • 1972 "I'm Still in Love with You" #3 US, #35 UK
  • 1972 "Look What You Done for Me" #4 US
  • 1972 "You Ought to be with Me" #3 US
  • 1973 "Call Me (Come Back Home)" #10 US
  • 1973 "Here I am (Come and Take Me)" #10 US
  • 1974 "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" #7 US, #20 UK
  • 1974 "Let's Get Married" #32 US
  • 1974 "Livin' for You" #19 US
  • 1975 "L-O-V-E (Love)" #13 US, #24 UK
  • 1975 "Full of Fire" #28 US
  • 1977 "Keep Me Cryin'" #37 US
  • 1988 "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (with Annie Lennox) #9 US, #28 UK
  • 1989 "The Message is Love" (Arthur Baker and The Backbeat Disciples feat. Al Green) #38 UK


References


For the Democratic candidate for District 25 in Texas and the former head of the Houston NAACP, please see Al Green (politician).de:Al Green pl:Al Green sv:Al Green

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