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Al Green On Tour

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Singer, songwriter and nine-time Grammy winning artist Al Green has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. He's on tour this summer, bringing his hits to fans across the country. Recently, he visited The Early Show plaza to sing a medley of his hits.

On June 6, 200 2, Gren will be participating in a concert tied to the upcoming June 8. 2002 Mike Tyson/Lenox Lewis fight in Memphis, Tenn. On July 6, 2002 he'll be in New Orleans performing at the Essence Music Festival. The tour is to continue through Aug. 24.

Earlier this year, Green was givrn the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2002 Grammy Awards. Eight of his nine Grammy awards were for his Gospel recordings. He was awarded the 9th Grammy for his duet with Lyle Lovett. They are:

1981 - "The Lord Will Make A Way"
1982 - "Higher Plane"
1982 - "Precious Lord"
1983 - "I'll Rise Again"
1984 - "Sailin' On The Sea Of Your Love"
1986 - "Going Away"
1987 - "Everything's Gonna Be Alright"
1989 - "As Long As We're Together"
1994 - "Funny How Time Slips Away"

This year, he recorded a duet, "Put It On Paper," with former Sounds of Blackness lead singer Ann Nesby, and it became a No.1 hit on R&B Adult Contemporary charts.

Green's autobiography, Take Me To The River, was released on Sept. 7, 2000.

Fast Facts About Al Green

  • Born Albert Greene on April 13, 1946, in Forrest City, Ark., to a large family of sharecroppers.
  • At the age of 9, he started touring with his siblings as the Green Brothers on the Gospel circuits in the South. He was dismissed from the quartet when his father caught him listening to the music of Jackie Wilson.
  • Years later, he and high school friends formed the pop group, Al Green and the Creations.
  • Palmer James and Curtis Rogers were part of the group and they in turn founded the record company, Hot Line Music Journal and changed the name of the group to Al Green and the Soul Mates. They also wrote and produced the R& B hit "Back Up Train."
  • Less successful albums would follow, however, and the group broke up.
  • In 1969, Green met Willie Mitchell, a bandleader, producer and vice president of Hi Records of Memphis. Green signed with the company and for eight years, Mitchell wrote and produced his songs.
  • In 1970, his song "I Can't Get Next to You" reach the No. 11 spot on the R& B charts.
  • The following year, he had his first gold single, "Tired of Being Alone." It was No. 11 on the pop charts, No.7 R& B and No.4 in the UK.
  • His next hit was written by Willie Mitchell at the piano. Mitchell played "Let's Stay Together" and Green said, "Give me five minutes and I'll write some words to it." About 15 minutes later he came back with some words and about a week later the track was recorded.

    According to Green's autobiography, "Let's Stay Together" wasn't written as a love song. "I wrote that for the country coming off of the 1968 riots and the assassination of the Dr. Martin Luther King. And all of this was happening at that time."

  • In October 1974, his personal life suffered. Green was hospitalized with second-degree burns caused by a former girlfriend Mary Woodson. After pouring boiling grits on him while he was bathing, she killed herself with his gun.
  • Green reflected on the incident and decided to spend more time on his faith. He went on to become a pastor, ending his partnership with Mitchell.
  • In 1976, he purchased a church where he preaches and continues to sing. He is the pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, Tenn.
  • The following year, he built a recording studio and released a few more singles that proved to be less successful.
  • With his musical career in decline and an eventful concert in Cincinnati where he fell off the stage, he concluded it was a sign to focus on God and limit his public appearances to religious services around the country.
  • "The Lord Will Make A Way" was the first of Green's gospel-only recordings in the '80s. In 1982, he co-starred on Broadway with Patty LaBelle in the Gospel musical "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God."
  • In 1985, he and Mitchell reunited to produce "He is the Light."
  • While Green continued to minister, his music continued to soar. Talking Heads scored one of their biggest hits with Green's "Take Me To The River." Green himself joined Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics to do "Put A Little Love in Your Heart" for the soundtrack of the 1988 film "Scrooged." It reaches the UK singles chart.
  • In 1994, Green performed with Lyle Lovett on the Grammy-winning, "Funny How Time Slips Away."
  • In 1995, he was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
  • He told his life story in, Take Me To The River. The autobiography of the singer/songwriter hit stores in September of 2000. According to Green, "...The Al Green on stage bears no resemblance to the Al Green in the pulpit. The Al Green who sings 'You Ought To Be With Me' wants nothing to do with the one who sings 'Jesus Is Waiting." That Al Green standing in the wings has got nothing in common with the Al Green kneeling in his prayer closet. Most of the time they can't even stand living in the same skin."
  • Al Green released his "Greatest Gospel Hits" album on March 28, 2000. The album is a mixture of old time Gospel classics like "Amazing Grace," and original Al Green creations.
  • Al Green's hit recordings include:

    1971 - "Tired Of Being Alone"
    1971 - "Let's Stay Together"
    1972 - "Look What You Done For Me"
    1972 - "I'm Still In Love With You"
    1972 - "You Ought To Be With Me"
    1973 - "Call Me (Come Back Home)"
    1973 - "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)"
    1974 - "Sha La La (Make Me Happy)"