Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Celebrating Al Green Who Turns 76 Today

Probably the only pastor in history with a great YouTube channel full of classic Soul and R&B that also includes a playlist named “Babymakers” — it’s a pretty good bet that there are people walking around today who were conceived while Al Green was playing in the background. 

The many videos available on YouTube clearly show how seeing Al Green live in the 70s was very close to a religious experience. 

Exhinit (A) is “Sha La La (Make Me Happy)” live on Soul Train … and holy smokes this is a hot performance (the audio and the mix isn’t great but you can just see and feel the temperature in the room).

Watch Al starting at 1:40 and listen to him hit that high note and sustain it at around 1:50.

Mesmerizing. This guy could teach a master class on working a crowd into a fever pitch from the stage.

His band is the legendary Hi Rhythm Section plus the Memphis horns of Stax records — and clearly they could lay down a groove. 

But as great as those guys were, Al Green’s success was clearly due to his incredible singing voice and pure charisma and dynamic personality on stage playing to a crowd. He’s got a ton of videos from shows like “Soul Train” and “The Midnight Special” and they’re all pretty much like this: hot.

Here’s the studio version which is more dynamic and cleaner musically.  

The whole album is great, and starts with this tune followed by “Take Me to the River”, one of his most iconic and well known songs.

Happy Birthday Al!