Al Green: Love and Happiness

13 Apr

Birthday greetings to Al Green, who celebrates No. 65 today.

It’s not often you can pray with a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, but you can with the Reverend Al — he posts on his website the times of services at his church in Memphis, Tenn. (11:30 and 4 p.m. Sunday if you’re nearby).

Green had several hits in the 70s — Let’s Stay Together, I’m So Tired of Being Alone — and though the Talking Heads’ version of Take Me To The River might be better known, it was Green who co-wrote it.

But Green left it all for a higher power than No. 1 hits. A girlfriend burned Green and then committed suicide, according to Rob Brunner at, and Green dedicated himself to his faith not long thereafter.

Davin Seay, a collaborator on Green’s autobiography, from Brunner’s article:  “It does him an injustice to assume his religious conversion was a matter of convenience based on this traumatic experience, and he likes to distance the facts of his conversion from the terrible events of that night. But I think the . . . incident kind of crystallized his need to move on, to sort of shut down one part of his life and open up another.”

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and its website bio of Green cites his  “incomparable voice, full of falsetto swoops and nuanced turns of phrase.”

For the last three-and-a-half decades, he’s used that incomparable voice to sing gospel, and preach sermons.


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