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Albert Leornes Greene[1] (born April 13, 1946), often known as The Reverend Al Green, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for recording a series of soul hit singles in the early 1970s, including "Take Me to the River", "Tired of Being Alone", "I'm Still in Love with You", "Love and Happiness", and his signature song, "Let's Stay Together".[2] Inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, Green was referred to on the museum's site as being "one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music".[2] He has also been referred to as "The Last of the Great Soul Singers".[3] Green was included in the Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, ranking at No. 65.[4]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Early success 2.2 Gospel recordings 2.3 Return to secular music

3 Personal life 4 Discography 5 Books 6 Awards and honors 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Early life[edit] Albert Leornes Greene was born on April 13, 1946, in Forrest City, Arkansas.[5] The sixth of ten children born to Cora Lee and Robert G. Greene, Jr., a sharecropper, Al began performing with his brothers in a group called the Greene Brothers at around the age of ten. The Greene family relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the late 1950s.[6] Al was kicked out of the family home while in his teens, after his religiously devout father caught him listening to Jackie Wilson.[7] "I also listened to Mahalia Jackson, all the great gospel singers. But the most important music to me was those hip-shakin’ boys: Wilson Pickett and Elvis Presley. I just loved Elvis Presley. Whatever he got, I went out and bought." In high school, Al formed a vocal group called Al Greene & the Creations.[8] Two of the group's members, Curtis Rodgers and Palmer James, formed an independent label called Hot Line Music Journal. In 1968, having changed their name to Al Greene & the Soul Mates, they recorded the song "Back Up Train", releasing it on Hot Line Music. The song was a hit on the R&B charts. However, the group's subsequent follow-ups failed to chart, as did their debut album Back Up Train. While performing with the Soul Mates, Green came into contact with Memphis record producer Willie Mitchell, who hired him in 1969 to be a vocalist for a Texas show with Mitchell's band. Following the performance, Mitchell asked Green to sign with his Hi Records label. Career[edit] Early success[edit] Having noted that Green had been trying to sing like Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown, Mitchell became his vocal mentor, coaching him into finding his own voice. Before releasing his first album with Hi, Green removed the final "e" from his name. Subsequently, he released Green Is Blues
Blues
(1969), which was a moderate success. His follow-up album, Al Green Gets Next to You
Al Green Gets Next to You
(1971), featured the hit R&B cover of the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You", recorded in a slow blues-oriented version. The album also featured his first significant hit, "Tired of Being Alone", which sold a million copies and was certified gold, becoming the first of seven consecutive gold singles Green would record in the next couple of years.

Green in an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show in 1973

Green's next album, Let's Stay Together (January 1972), solidified his place in soul music. The title track was his biggest hit to date, reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
and R&B charts. The album became his first to be certified gold. His follow-up, I'm Still in Love with You (October 1972) went platinum with the help of the singles "Look What You Done for Me" and the title track, both of which went to the top ten on the Hot 100. His next album, Call Me (April 1973) produced three top ten singles: "You Ought to Be with Me", "Call Me (Come Back Home)", and "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)". Green's album Livin' for You
Livin' for You
(December 1973) was his last album to be certified gold. In addition to these hit singles, Green also had radio hits with songs such as "Love and Happiness", his cover of the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", "Simply Beautiful", "What a Wonderful Thing Love Is", and "Take Me to the River", later covered successfully by new wave band Talking Heads
Talking Heads
and blues artist Syl Johnson. Green continued to record successful R&B hits in the next several years including "Livin' for You", "Let's Get Married", "Sha-La-La (Makes Me Happy)", "L-O-V-E (Love)" and "Full of Fire". By the time Green released the album, The Belle Album
The Belle Album
in 1977, however, Green's record sales had plummeted, partially due to Green's own personal issues during this time and his desire to become a minister.[9] His last Hi Records album, Truth n' Time, was released in 1978 and failed to become a success. Two years later, he left Hi for Myrrh Records
Myrrh Records
and recorded only gospel music for the next decade and a half. Gospel recordings[edit] Green's first gospel album, The Lord Will Make a Way, was released in 1980. The title song from the album would later win Green his first of eight Grammy Awards in the Best Soul Gospel Performance category. In 1982, Green co-starred with Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelle
in the Broadway play, "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God".[10] His 1985 gospel album, He Is the Light reunited Green with Willie Mitchell while his 1987 follow-up, Soul Survivor, featured the minor hit, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright", which reached number 22 on the R&B chart, his first top 40 R&B hit since "I Feel Good" in 1978, and funk Return to secular music[edit] Green returned to secular music in 1988 recording "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" with Annie Lennox. Featured on the soundtrack to the movie, Scrooged, the song became Green's first top 10 pop hit since 1974. Green had a hit in 1989 with "The Message is Love" with producer Arthur Baker. Two years later, he recorded the theme song to the short-lived show Good Sports.[11] In 1993, he signed with RCA and with Baker again as producer, released the album, Don't Look Back. Green received his ninth Grammy award for his collaboration with Lyle Lovett for their duet of "Funny How Time Slips Away". Green's 1995 album, Your Heart's In Good Hands, was released around the time that Green was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[12] The one single released from the album, "Keep On Pushing Love", was described as "invoking the original, sparse sound of his [Green's] early classics."[13]

Green performing at the Sonoma Jazz festival, May 23, 2008

In 2000, Green released his autobiography, Take Me to the River. Two years later, he earned the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and recorded a hit R&B duet with Ann Nesby on the song, "Put It On Paper". Green again reunited with Willie Mitchell in 2003 for the album, I Can't Stop. A year later, Green re-recorded his previous song, "Simply Beautiful", with Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
on the latter's album, The Dana Owens Album. In 2005, Green and Mitchell collaborated on Everything's OK. His 2008 album, Lay It Down, was produced by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and James Poyser.[14] It became his first album to reach the top ten since the early 1970s. The album featured a minor R&B hit with the ballad, "Stay with Me (By the Sea)", featuring John Legend
John Legend
and also featuring duets with Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae.[15] During an interview for promotion of the album, Green admitted that he would have liked to duet with Marvin Gaye: "In those days, people didn't sing together like they do now," he said.[16] In 2009, Green recorded "People Get Ready" with Heather Headley on the album, Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration.[17] In 2010, Green performed "Let's Stay Together" on Later... with Jools Holland. Personal life[edit] On October 18, 1974, shortly after Al Green Explores Your Mind
Al Green Explores Your Mind
was released, Mary Woodson White, a girlfriend of Green's, assaulted him before committing suicide at his Memphis home.[18] Although she was already married, White reportedly became upset when Green refused to marry her.[19] At some point during the evening, White doused Green with a pan of boiling grits while he was bathing, causing severe burns on Green's back, stomach, and arms.[20] She then found his .38 and killed herself. In her purse, police found a note declaring her intentions and her reasons.[21] (In his bio of Al Green, Jimmy McDonough devotes an entire chapter to the death of Mary Woodson White.) Green cited the incident with White as a wake-up call to change his life.[18] He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976.[22] Continuing to record R&B, Green saw his sales start to slip and drew mixed reviews from critics. In 1979, Green injured himself falling off the stage while performing in Cincinnati and interpreted this as a message from God. He then concentrated his energies towards pastoring his church and gospel singing. His first gospel album was The Lord Will Make a Way. From 1981 to 1989 Green recorded a series of gospel albums, garnering eight "soul gospel performance" Grammy Awards in that period. In 1985, he reunited with Willie Mitchell along with Angelo Earl
Angelo Earl
for He Is the Light, his first album for A&M Records. In 1984, director Robert Mugge released a documentary film, Gospel According to Al Green, including interviews about his life and footage from his church.[23] In June 1977, Green married Shirley Kyles. They had three daughters together, Alva, Rubi, and Kora.[1] Shirley filed for divorce in 1978 and 1981.[1] In the final divorce complaint, Shirley alleged that Green had been subjecting her to domestic violence throughout their marriage.[1] Initially Green denied the accusation, but under oath in 1982, he admitted to spousal abuse when provoked. Their divorce was finalized in February 1983. The story of Nicole Brown Simpson
Nicole Brown Simpson
inspired Shirley in 1995 to go public with the abuse she endured in order to help other victims.[1] Green has six children; two sons, Al Green
Al Green
Jr (with singer Margaret Foxworth), and Trevor; four daughters, Alva, Rubi, Kora (with Shirley Kyles), and Kala.[24] Green is a member of the Prince Hall Masons, the African-American wing of Freemasonry, at the Thirty-Third Degree.[25] Green resides and preaches in Memphis, Tennessee[22] near Graceland.[26] Green's sister Maxine disappeared in September 2013 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[27] Discography[edit] Main article: Al Green
Al Green
discography

Back Up Train
Back Up Train
(1967) Green Is Blues
Blues
(1969) Al Green Gets Next to You
Al Green Gets Next to You
(1971) Let's Stay Together (1972) I'm Still in Love with You (1972) Call Me (1973) Livin' for You
Livin' for You
(1973) Al Green Explores Your Mind
Al Green Explores Your Mind
(1974) Al Green Is Love
Al Green Is Love
(1975) Full of Fire
Full of Fire
(1976) Have a Good Time (1976) The Belle Album
The Belle Album
(1977) Truth n' Time (1978) The Lord Will Make a Way
The Lord Will Make a Way
(1980) Higher Plane
Higher Plane
(1982) Precious Lord (1982) I'll Rise Again
I'll Rise Again
(1983) The Christmas Album (1983) Trust in God
Trust in God
(1984) He Is the Light
He Is the Light
(1985) Soul Survivor (1987) I Get Joy (1989) From My Soul (1990) Love Is Reality (1992) Don't Look Back (1993) Your Heart's in Good Hands
Your Heart's in Good Hands
(1995) I Can't Stop (2003) Everything's OK (2005) Lay It Down (2008)

Books[edit]

Green, A. with Seay, D. (2009), Take Me to the River, Chicago Review Press, ISBN 978-1556528101 McDonough, Jimmy
McDonough, Jimmy
(2017), Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green, Da Capo Press, ISBN 978-0306822674 https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Survivor-Biography-Al-Green/dp/0306822679/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Awards and honors[edit] Green was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in 1995. In 2004, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame. That same year, he was inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame.[28] Also in 2004, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
magazine ranked him No. 65 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[4] He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 BET Awards on June 24, 2009 .[29] On August 26, 2004, Green was honored as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI Urban Awards. He joined a list of previous Icon honorees that included R&B legends James Brown, Chuck Berry, Little Richard
Little Richard
and Bo Diddley.[30] Green was recognized on December 7, 2014, as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient.[31] See also[edit]

Book: Al Green

List of best-selling music artists

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f "Silent No Longer". Chicago Tribune. March 1, 1995. Retrieved May 25, 2013.  ^ a b "Al Green". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  ^ All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul. Books.google.com. Retrieved April 18, 2014.  ^ a b Justin Timberlake. "The Immortals - The Greatest Artists of All Time: 65) Al Green". Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Issue 946. Rolling Stone.  ^ "Al Green: Biography". Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2008.  ^ Darden, Robert (2005). People Get Ready!: A New History of Black Gospel Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 296. ISBN 0-8264-1752-3.  ^ Booth, Stanley (2000). Rhythm Oil: A Journey Through the Music of the American South. Da Capo Press. p. 150. ISBN 0-306-80979-6.  ^ "Kicked Out of House". Biography.com. Retrieved May 19, 2016.  ^ Strong, Martin C.; Peel, John (2004). The Great Rock Discography: Complete Discographies Listing Every Track Recorded by More Than 1,200 Artists. Canongate U.S. p. 628. ISBN 1-84195-615-5.  ^ "Your Arms Too Short to Box With God: A Soaring Celebration in Song and Dance". ibdb.com. Retrieved August 7, 2008.  ^ Tucker, Ken (January 25, 1991). "Good Sports". Entertainment Weekly.  ^ Van Til, Reinder; Olson, Gordon (2007). Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Grand Rapids. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 225–226. ISBN 0-8028-2478-1.  ^ " Al Green
Al Green
- Your Heart's In Good Hands
Your Heart's In Good Hands
CD Album". CDuniverse.com. November 7, 1995. Retrieved April 18, 2014.  ^ Cohen, Jonathan (December 14, 2006). "The Roots Plot Tour, ?uestlove Reworks Pharrell". Billboard.com.  ^ Jurek, Thom. "Lay It Down: Album Review". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008.  ^ Scaggs, Austin (Jun 12, 2008). "Al Green's Soul Revival". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2011.  ^ "Jon Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
go gospel for "Day"". Reuters.com. March 27, 2009.  ^ a b Brunner, Rob (October 20, 2000). "Al Green's conversion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 26, 2015.  ^ Kim, Alice (May 17, 2002). " Al Green
Al Green
loves and cherishes the booty". The Stanford Daily. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008.  ^ Sullivan, James (February 22, 2008). "Twisted Tales: Al Green
Al Green
Finds Salvation, Served Scalding Hot". spinner.com. Retrieved August 7, 2008.  ^ McDonough, Jimmy
McDonough, Jimmy
(2017). Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green. Da Capo Press. pp. 172–189. ISBN 9780306822674.  ^ a b "TripAdvisor: Full Gospel Tabernacle Church - Memphis, TN".  ^ " Al Green
Al Green
(1946–)". encyclopediaofarkansas.net. Retrieved August 7, 2008.  ^ McDonough, Jimmy
McDonough, Jimmy
(2017). Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306822674.  ^ McDonough, Jimmy
McDonough, Jimmy
(2017). Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green. Da Capo Press. p. 225. ISBN 9780306822674.  ^ Mastropolo, Frank (October 17, 2014). "Pure Agony: Al Green
Al Green
Scalded by Hot Grits
Grits
40 Years Ago". Retrieved November 9, 2014.  ^ http://fox17online.com/2015/02/21/soul-singer-al-greens-sister-missing-18-months-family-let-the-public-know-your-sister-is-missing/ ^ " Al Green
Al Green
Exhibit Home". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 18, 2014.  ^ " Al Green
Al Green
to scoop lifetime gong". BBC News. BBC. May 16, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2010.  ^ "BMI Celebrates Urban Music at 2004 Awards with Top Writers, Producers, Publishers". bmi.com. Archived from the original on September 20, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.  ^ "Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting to Receive Kennedy Center Honors". variety.com. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

Christgau, Robert; et al. (1976). "Al Green". The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll.  McDonough, Jimmy
McDonough, Jimmy
(2017), Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green, Da Capo Press, ISBN 978-0306822674

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Al Green.

Al Green
Al Green
at Encyclopædia Britannica Al Green
Al Green
at AllMusic Al Green
Al Green
on IMDb Al Green
Al Green
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
"Al Green". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

v t e

Al Green

Studio albums

Initial R&B albums

Back Up Train Green Is Blues Al Green
Al Green
Gets Next to You Let's Stay Together I'm Still in Love with You Call Me Livin' for You Al Green
Al Green
Explores Your Mind Al Green
Al Green
Is Love Full of Fire Have a Good Time The Belle Album Truth n' Time

Gospel albums

The Lord Will Make a Way Higher Plane Precious Lord I'll Rise Again Trust in God He Is the Light Soul Survivor I Get Joy From My Soul Love Is Reality Don't Look Back

Later secular albums

Your Heart's in Good Hands I Can't Stop Everything's OK Lay It Down

Other albums

Al Green's Greatest Hits Al Green's Greatest Hits, Volume II Cream of Al Green Tokyo Live The Christmas Album White Christmas Hi Life: The Best of Al Green Al Greatest Hits More Greatest Hits Greatest Gospel Hits Take Me to the River Feels Like Christmas L-O-V-E: The Essential Al Green The Love Songs Collection Absolute Best The Definitive Greatest Hits What Makes the World Go 'Round?

Singles

"Tired of Being Alone" "Let's Stay Together" "Look What You Done for Me" "I'm Still in Love with You" "You Ought to Be with Me" "Call Me (Come Back Home)" "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" "Livin' for You" "Let's Get Married" "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" "L-O-V-E (Love)" "Full of Fire" "Love and Happiness" "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (with Annie Lennox) "Love Is a Beautiful Thing" "Keep On Pushing Love"

Related articles

Discography

Book:Al Green

v t e

Kennedy Center Honorees (2010s)

2010

Merle Haggard Jerry Herman Bill T. Jones Paul McCartney Oprah Winfrey

2011

Barbara Cook Neil Diamond Yo-Yo Ma Sonny Rollins Meryl Streep

2012

Buddy Guy Dustin Hoffman David Letterman Led Zeppelin Natalia Makarova

2013

Martina Arroyo Herbie Hancock Billy Joel Shirley MacLaine Carlos Santana

2014

Al Green Tom Hanks Patricia McBride Sting Lily Tomlin

2015

Carole King George Lucas Rita Moreno Seiji Ozawa Cicely Tyson

2016

Martha Argerich Eagles Al Pacino Mavis Staples James Taylor

2017

Carmen de Lavallade Gloria Estefan LL Cool J Norman Lear Lionel Richie

Complete list 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

v t e

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Class of 1995

Performers

The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band
(Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks) Al Green Janis Joplin Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
(John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) Martha and the Vandellas
Martha and the Vandellas
(Rosalind Ashford, Annette Beard, Betty Kelly, Lois Reeves, Martha Reeves, Sandra Tilley) Neil Young Frank Zappa

Early influences

The Orioles

Non-performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Paul Ackerman

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 85473326 LCCN: n90606420 ISNI: 0000 0000 8398 392X GND: 123394961 SUDOC: 087886812 BNF: cb13972506h (data) MusicBrainz: fb7272ba-f130-4f0a-934d-6eeea4c18c9a SN

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