"The Reverend" wrote legendary soul hits
Al Green's extraordinary voice became known to the world through a string of legendary hits in the early 1970's, classics including "Tired of Being Alone," "Let's Stay Together," "I Can't Get Next to You," "I'm Still in Love With You," "Call Me," "Here I Am," "Let's Get Married" and "Love and Happiness." Recorded in Memphis with producer and arranger Willie Mitchell at Mitchell's Royal Recording Studios, those songs--and Green's falsetto screams, impassioned whispers, ecstatic cries and choked shouts are etched into the minds of music fans everywhere.
For the 2004 debut album I Can't Stop, the dynamic, inimitable singer triumphantly returns to that glorious sound, reaching new heights in the process. The recording marks historic reunion of Green and Mitchell, bringing them together for the first time since 1985, when they recorded the gospel album He Is the Light, and only the second time since 1976's Have a Good Time. That album came at the end of an eight-year partnership that created some of soul music's most treasured recordings, released on Mitchell's Hi Records, including Green is Blues (1970), AI Green Gets Next to You (1972), Call Me and Livin' for You (1973), Al Green Explores Your Mind (1974), Al Green is Love (1975) and Full of Fire and Have a Good Time (1976).
Al Green started singing professionally at age nine, when he and his brothers formed a gospel quartet. They toured the gospel circuits in the South, then began performing around Michigan when the family relocated from Arkansas to Grand Rapids. At 16, Green formed a pop group and released a single "Back Up Train" in 1967 that went to #5 on the national R&B chart. Green then decided to go solo. Mitchell's historic meeting took place in 1969 when Mitchell hired the young singer to front his band for a gig in Midland, Texas, and hearing something special, approached Green after the show to come to Memphis where Mitchell signed Green to Hi Records and began recording him at Royal.
Green and Mitchell collaborated to shape a sound that defines its own place in pop and R&B music. They recorded eight albums that sold over 20 million copies worldwide, working together until 1976. At that time, Green changed his focus to gospel music, founding his own congregation in Memphis - the Full Gospel Tabernacle, where he still preaches regularly--and recording a series of albums that have earned him eight Grammys in gospel categories.