Al Green Wants to Get Next To YOU!

Al Green Explores Your Mind
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When I was just a youngun’ I fell in love with Al Green.  I was probably 11 or 12.  It was my mama’s fault.  She was a complete and utter Al Green fiend, nutcase, crackpot!  She wore green clothes in his honor! She simply adored the man.  And as I listen to these following songs, at this time, 35 plus years later, I completely understand why.  Who doesn’t know and love him?  He has the most beautiful, soulful voice this side of heaven!  Mr. Albert Greene was born on April 13, 1946 in Forest Park, Arkansas. He was the 6th of 10 children born to his parents, Robert and Cora Greene.  When Al was 10 years old he was part of a group called the Greene Brothers and they toured extensively in the 1950s. 
One day, Al made the mistake of listening to Jackie Wilson in his father’s earshot, so he was kicked out of the Greene Brothers group.  This didn’t deter Al, since he later hooked up with some high school buddies and put together the group, Al Greene and the Creations, which was later changed to Al Greene and the Soul Mates.  The band had a hit called Back Up Train on the RandB charts, but couldn’t follow it up.  Al Greene later met the band leader Willie Mitchell of Memphis’ Hi Records in 1969 and was hired first as a vocalist then later signed with his label. 
Mitchell saw the potential in Al and predicted that he’d be successful.  He encouraged and coached Al to develop his own powerful and expressive singing voice and stop copying the styles of his musical heroes, Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and Sam Cooke.  Mitchell arranged, engineered and produced Al’s songs.  Al’s first album, Green is Blues, was a slow, soulful, horn driven, with that famous Memphis style, but was only a moderate success.  The second album, Al Green Gets Next to You, was the massive success that Mitchell predicted.  Lets Stay Together, Call Me, I’m Still In Love With You, and Al Green Explores Your Mind followed and were even bigger! The women were swooning all over America!  There was one woman in particular, Mrs. Mary White, who wanted Al for herself, even though she was married.  And the famous grits incident occurred, where she poured boiling grits on Al while he was in the shower, causing him third degree burns over his back, arms and stomach.  
All of that aside, we MUST admit and concede that there’s no one who can beat Al Green’s expressive and sensually angelic (?) voice.  There is one who actually had the nerve to try, and comes somewhere in the vicinity–Maxwell, singing Simply Beautiful,  but there’s no Memphis Sounds connected with it! Queen Latifah gave it a shot as well.  As for Al’s voice,  I could feel it when I was just a child, even though I don’t really know what it was I felt.  His awesome voice is Simply Beautiful!!





8 Comments Add yours

  1. Simply good music. I did not really appreciate Al Green's music until I was well into adulthood via a boyfriend turned husband. He played "For the Good Times" often. And so, unknowingly, I became attached to his voice. Years later, I've grown attached to other songs of his. I wish more artists would take note of his style and subject matter and pattern their music after his. Too much mindless music going around these days.

  2. Qwami Ade says:

    "Make you come home early,make you stay out all night long…" Al has a way of giving a lyric its own impermanent twist. I can't think of many or any other artist that could take a Temptations song and literally make it their own"I can't get next to you". One thing I've always loved about Al is his humility. A rare breed indeed. You just knew I couldn't pass commenting on this post.One thing me and my cousin used to crack up about was that if you listen to an all Al Green song it's like he saves his heaviest punches for the closing of the song. None of his songs end abruptly. It's kinda like his just a throwin' a fit as the song fades out. My favorite Al Green fit is at the end of "I Caint Get Next To You" when he goes out with that high pitch squeel..eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew. You gotsta love it.Wow I think I just completed a whole blog in your comments section*LOL*. Get me talkin' about Al Green and I'll nevuh shut up. Excellent post,Anna.Peace.

  3. Anna Renee says:

    Oh, I knew you would comment! LOL! Cause you know good music! I appreciate every one of your comments, too! When I was a kid, I loved that very last "moan for love" after the squeel! The squeel wasn't even the last of it! Al was a beast! a master! I think Al's was the first music I critically listened to and analyzed as a kid. I just loved everything together and separately–the organ, the horns, his "moans for love" his "ahs" his "hey hey heys", his high notes and low notes. I may have been a little junior fiend like my mom! I thought i was done with Love and Happiness because of dear Mom, who wore the grooves off that one, but it sounds fantastic this day!

  4. Anna Renee says:

    @Chocolate Orchid–Did your hubby snag you with Al's music? You know how men are! Ha Ha! Al worked magic for many men. I think Maxwell probably is one of the good artists. I used to listen to Eric Benet and Kenny Lattimore! They were pretty good.

  5. Reggie says:

    I can only imagine that one only needs to have hot grits thrown on them once to recognize the error of their ways.Rev. Al was a part of my parent's generation and although I heard it throughout my upbringing, I didn't have a serious appreciation for it, until I was an adult myself.

  6. JahLionessJD says:

    Al green is one of my altime favs. the man can sing. just simply beautiful

  7. Anna Renee says:

    @JahLionessJD yes indeed!

  8. Anna Renee says:

    Update: 3-24-2011, I just found a video of Al Green playing the guitar, something I NEVER knew he could do, and not just playing it, but making the thang sing!!!! Al Green, multitalent!

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