Al Green (Let's Stay Together)
Al Green Interview
Soul legend Al Green was born in Forrest City, Ark. in 1946 and began performing at age nine as part of his father's gospel group, the Green Brothers. During the mid/late 1950s the quartet toured the South, but the Green family later moved to Grand Rapids, Mich. and Al Green formed a new R&B group, Al Green and the Creations. The Creations became the Soul Mates, and in 1968 the group scored an R&B Top 5 single with Back Up Train.
In 1969 Green began a solo career in close collaboration with producer Willie Mitchell, releasing his debut album Green Is Blues the following year. His 1970 follow-up Al Green Gets Next To You went gold thanks to the hit single Tired of Being Alone, while 1972's Let's Stay Together reached the Top 10 when its title track hit No. 1.
Another 1972 release, I'm Still in Love With You, reached No. 4, while 1973's Call Me contained three Top 10 singles, Here I Am, Call Me, and Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy). Al Green was now an R&B superstar, known for his soulful voice, interesting musical arrangements, and energetic live shows.
Tragically, in October 1974 Green's former girlfriend, Mary Woodson, assaulted him in his home, burning him over much of his torso before killing herself. Shocked by this incident, Green found God and became a preacher at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, where he still preaches to this day. Though he released three more albums for Hi Records, the label which discovered him, Green became weary of the music industry and founded his own studio, American Music, in 1977. His next two albums, The Belle Album (1977) and Truth and Time (1978) were self-produced by Green and received good reviews but didn't have the commercial impact of earlier material. Then one day in 1979 Green accidentally fell off the stage while performing in concert and barely avoided serious injury convinced this turn of events was a message from God to abandon secular music, Green shifted his focus and began recording albums of a Christian nature, mostly gospel standards and religious pop and R&B tunes.
In the mid-'80s Green began to return to the mainstream, signing to A&M Records and recording a cover of Put a Little Love in Your Heart with Annie Lennox for the Scrooged soundtrack. In 1989 Green scored his first Top 40 R&B single in over a decade with As Long as We're Together, a duet with Al B. Sure.
By 1995 Green had made a full comeback to secular music, moving to BMG Records and releasing the long-awaited soul full-length Your Heart's in Good Hands. That same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Green continues his ministry at the Full Gospel Tabernacle, where he often sings for his congregation.
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