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Al Green

April 13, 1946

Artistfacts for Al Green

  • Green was born in Arkansas to a family of sharecroppers. His birth name was Albert Greene.
  • He formed a Gospel quartet in the mid-1950s with his brothers. They were called the Green Brothers. Al was kicked out when his father caught him listening to Jackie Wilson.
  • He cut his first single as Al Green and the Soul Mates on a label, Hot Line Music Journal, founded by his high school friends, Curtis Rogers and Palmer James.
  • Green was signed to Hi Records by their vice president, Willie Mitchell, who also produced and co-wrote many of Green's songs.
  • In October 1974, Green brought home two woman he had been seeing: his sometimes girlfriend Mary Woodson, and a stewardess named Carlotta Williams. It didn't go well, and when Green took a bath, Woodson poured the boiling grits she was making on him, inflicting second degree burns to the singer. As Williams tended him, Woodson killed herself with his gun. Green, who became a born-again Christian in 1973, interpreted this as a sign from God to join the ministry.
  • Another sign from God: In 1979, Green fell off a Cincinnati stage and was almost injured badly. He decided it was time to stop performing secular music.
  • As of 1976, not only did Green own his own Memphis church, he was a fully ordained pastor with the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church.
  • In 1995, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and the Allman Brothers Band. Natalie Cole was his presenter.
  • He cites Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers as major influences.
  • Drummer Al Jackson, of Booker T. & the MG's fame, played with Al Green several times and even co-wrote some of his material.
  • He won his first Grammy in 1982 for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Performance for the album The Lord Will Make a Way.
  • To delight his female fans on his Summer Tour 2003, Al Green ordered 24 long-stem dethroned roses on stage, which he could distribute. Good thinking taking out the thorns.
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