Al Greens emotional blend of gospel and R&B has topped music charts for three decades. This eight-time Grammy winner will captivate audience members when he performs his timeless melodies at the WVU Creative Arts Center Oct. 14 at 8:30 p.m.
AGreatest Hitsalbum on the nations Top 200 album chart and record sales in excess of 20 million copies has earned Al Green worldwide acclaim. He came onto the scene in the early 1970s and has been calledthe quintessential soul man.
Green was born in Forest City, Arkansas where he formed a gospel quartet, the Green Brothers, at age nine. By age 16, he had formed an R&B group which went on to record the singleBack Up Trainthat became a surprise hit, reaching number five on the charts early in 1968. In 1969 Willie Mitchell, vice president of Hi Records, signed Green, and they began working on his debut album as a solo artist. The next eight years were spent releasing hit singles includingTired of Being Alone,Lets Stay Together,Look What You Done for Me,Im Still in Love With YouandYou Ought to be With Me.
In 1983, Green recorded his first all-gospel album, and over the next six years he recorded nine best-selling gospel albums. He returned to the secular music charts in 1987 withEverything Is Gonna Be Alright.A year later, a duet with Annie Lennox covering the �€~70s classic,Put a Little Love in Your Heart,was featured on the soundtrack for the movieScroogedand gave Green a top 20 pop hit.
A consistent hit-maker and ordained pastor, Greens career marked a popular return to grassroots soul music. His extraordinary voice and unique sound led him to an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
More recently, Green teamed up once again with Willie Mitchell to recapture the sound they created in the early �€~70s. The two worked for three weeks co-writing eight songs, then recorded several sessions during the spring of 2003 to finish the 12 tracks that make upI Cant Stop.This comeback album surprised fans, offering a new variety of songs while staying true to Greens smooth, original sound.His voice is like an instrument,said Mitchell,He can do anything with it. Hes the best Ive ever heard.
I Cant Stopproves that Greens vocal dynamism is as powerful as ever. Greens incredible falsetto and impassioned whispers are etched into the minds of music fans everywhere. His innate sensitivity comes through in his love songs that are as conversational as they are blatantly seductive. The finest recordings of Al Green showcase a jazzy design and soulful possession rivaled only by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin.
Gospel and R&B fans will melt at the musical style of Al Green. His perfect blend of Memphis soul, gospel, blues and early rock and roll is said to bebreathtaking.Al Green is a one-of-a-kind artist, a legend whose music bridges generations.
Tickets are $52 and may be purchased at the Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center box offices, online at ticketmaster.com or at any Ticketmaster outlet (including Giant Eagle in the Mountaineer Mall) or by phone at 293-SHOW (7469) or 292-0220.
The University Art Series is produced by WVU Arts&Entertainment. For more event information, call 304-293-SHOW, or visit us online at events.wvu.edu.