Tag Archives: Al Green

Gone in threes (again)

They say celebrities and prominent people go in threes. Here’s proof.

Gone in 2010 …

“Airplane!” stars: Peter Graves (“You ever seen a grown man naked?”), Barbara Billingsley (“Oh, stewardess. I speak jive.”), Leslie Nielsen (“I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”).

Badasses: Dennis Hopper (actor and artist), Daniel Schorr (journalist), Howard Zinn (historian).

Baseball voices: Ernie Harwell (Tigers), Lorn Brown (Brewers), Ron Santo (Cubs).

Basketball was better then: Maurice Lucas (Marquette, ABA and NBA), Hank Raymonds (Marquette), Manute Bol (NBA).

Comic geniuses: Alex Anderson (“Rocky and Bullwinkle”), Harvey Pekar (“American Splendor”), Blake Edwards (“S.O.B.”).

Heard but not seen: Fred Foy (“The Lone Ranger”), John Forsythe (“Charlie’s Angels”), Jan C. Gabriel (“Sunday, Sunday, SunDAYYYYYYY!”).

Mystery men: J.D. Salinger (author), Dwight Armstrong (’70s antiwar bomber from Wisconsin), Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart).

Rough-hewn charm: Don Meredith (NFL), James Gammon (“Major League”), Leonard Skinner (future Southern rock stars’ gym teacher).

World War II’s iconic women: Geraldine Hoff Doyle (inspired the “We Can Do It” poster, 1942), Lena Horne (“Stormy Weather,” 1943), Edith Shain (the nurse kissed in the famous V-J Day photo from Times Square, 1945).

They rocked: Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow), Doug Fieger (the Knack), Alex Chilton (the Box Tops, Big Star).

They had soul: Solomon Burke (the King of Rock and Soul), Robert “Squirrel” Lester (the Chi-Lites), Al Goodman (the Moments).

They were country: Dale Hawkins (“Suzie Q”), Carl Smith (Mr. Country), Fred Carter Jr. (session guitarist).

They played the music: Robert Wilson (Gap Band bassist), Marvin Isley (Isley Brothers bassist), Mike Edwards (Electric Light Orchestra cellist).

They shaped the music: Willie Mitchell (Hi), Harvey Fuqua (Chess, Motown), General Norman Johnson (Invictus).

They sold the music: Bill Aucoin (KISS manager), Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols manager), George Richey (Tammy Wynette’s husband and manager).

They wrote the music: George David Weiss (“Can’t Help Falling In Love”), Bobby Charles (“Time Will Tell”), Hank Cochran (“I Fall To Pieces”).

You never heard of them, but they matter: Albertina Walker (Chicago gospel singer), William Foster (Florida A&M Marching 100 director), Claude Dorsey (Milwaukee jazz pianist).

The end of an era: Amazing Records (Green Bay, Wisconsin), Smart Studios (Madison, Wisconsin), Nancy Faust (still with us but retired as White Sox organist).

“The Letter,” Al Green, from “Green Is Blues,” 1969.

Produced by Willie Mitchell, who we lost this year. A cover of a song done by the Box Tops and Alex Chilton, who we lost this year. Record dug up at Amazing Records in Green Bay, which we lost this year.

In which the Rev. Al Green reminds us that we go forward with hope.


Filed under December 2010

High fives all around

Our friend Larry over at Funky 16 Corners is celebrating five years of F16C with more cool Beatles covers. Head over there and check out two new mixes and four older mixes.

Larry has been a guide, an inspiration and a good friend. We have plenty in common, and not just the music. On my wish list: Road tripping from Wisconsin to New Jersey just to soak in the vibe when Larry and his pals spin 45s at Asbury Park Lanes some night.

Here, then, as a small way of saying thanks, are five more Beatles covers in that same soul/R&B spirit. They’re more mainstream than Larry’s selections, but that just goes to show how deeply the man is digging it. Hope you will enjoy them nonetheless.


“Eleanor Rigby,” Bobbie Gentry, from “Local Gentry,” 1968. An almost perfect match of sultry singer, downbeat song and low-key arrangement. (Also covered on this LP, and not as well: “Fool on the Hill” and “Here, There and Everywhere.”)


“Get Back,” Al Green, from “Green Is Blues,” 1969. It’s out of print. (Al’s cover of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” also from 1969, is much in the same sizzling vein.)


“Got To Get You Into My Life,” the Four Tops, from “Soul Spin,” 1969. A song made for the great Levi Stubbs. (This is a CD rip from “Mojo Beatlemania, Volume 2,” included with Mojo magazine in September 2004.)


“Let It Be,” Ike and Tina Turner, from “Workin’ Together,” 1971. It’s out of print but is available digitally. Listen to how Tina tweaks the lyrics to make this her own, then gives it a bit of a gospel feel. (Also on covered on this LP, and shared earlier by Larry: “Get Back.”)


“Come Together,” Gladys Knight and the Pips, from “A Little Knight Music,” 1975. Recorded while they were at Motown in the early ’70s, maybe 1971 or 1972. Sassier than you’d think.


Filed under November 2009, Sounds

Slogging, not blogging

If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen or heard much here lately, here’s the latest evidence:

Photo 115

Your correspondent is typing with only his left hand. He is not left-handed.

Nor is there a good story to go with it. Unless you are a passionate Green Bay Packers fan and are somehow warmed by the notion that the injury was sustained while pulling out old negatives of newspaper photos to be published in our new coffee-table book about your club.

When did this happen? Well, it might have been 1986, maybe 1987, maybe even 1988. That’s where I was in the files at the time.

My luck was better the other day over at Amazing Records, our local used vinyl emporium. No wrists were sprained in snagging the albums these tunes come from.


“The Letter,” Al Green, from “Green Is Blues,” 1969.


“Getting It On,” Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band, from “Evolution,” 1971.

Amazing records indeed. Both are out of print but can be found.

Also …

A side of Mother’s Finest featured this month on our other blog, The Midnight Tracker.

Three from the Mighty Clouds of Joy in our guest post over at The Vinyl District.


Filed under July 2009, Sounds