Hot Trax | For the Good Times (Live)

1 07 2008

Last week, soul singer extraordinaire Al Green was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by during the BET Awards. Now a dignified minister, back in the day, Green set their souls on fire!

Growing up, Green’s heroes were Jackie Wilson, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and Sam Cooke. But it wasn’t until 1972 when he exploded on the scene with his hit album, Let’s Stay Together that he got from under their shadows. Throughout the early 1970s, Green would have major success with 13 Top 40 hit singles.

But that success was almost short-lived. In 1974, Mary Woodson threw a pot of boiling grits on the singer and then committed suicide. The assault caused third-degree burns on his back, stomach and arms. Deeply shaken by the injuries, the nature of the assault and the loss of this friend who was very dear to him, Green continued to reaffirm and grow closer to his deeply held love for God. He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976.

While Green still recorded some R&B, he was again injured while performing in 1979 and stopped recording soul music and returned to the church. From 1981 to 1989 Green recorded a series of gospel recordings, garnering eight “soul gospel performance” Grammys in that period. After spending several years exclusively performing gospel, Green began to return to R&B.

Green was inducted into the Rock of Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. Two years later, Green also was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Green was ranked 65 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artist of All Time.

These days, Green still continues to tour, and to preach at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, Tennessee. Green’s latest album, “Lay It Down,” was released last month.

One of our favorite Green songs was NOT one of his Top 40 hits, but showcases his instrument with amazing range and sensuality. During an appearance on the iconic show, Soul Train in 1972, Green had the audience mesmerized performing “For the Good Times” a classic song told from the perspective of a former lover thinking back with fondness and regret on his lost love.

As Green loves to say, “Lord Have Mercy!”

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