Results for Willie Mitchell

classic album dissections
The Belle AlbumThe Belle Album available on iTunes

Al Green The Belle Album

Al Green is known for archetypal soul hits like "Love & Happiness," "Let's Stay Together," and "I'm So Tired of Being Alone." But, while Al's songs are known around the world, the man himself is a bit of an enigma. To get a better sense of who Al Green is, Jim and Greg sat down with Jimmy McDonough, author of a new biography called Soul Survivor.

They also unpack a lesser known album from Al Green's catalogue: The Belle Album. The album, released in 1977, came out at a crucial period in Green's life. He had just left a lucrative career in soul music for the ministry. The album was his first gospel album, one that blended funk, disco, and according to Jim, even elements of punk. It was also Al's first dip into self-producing an album. His previous work had been produced by the legendary Willie Mitchell at Hi Records in Memphis. The album with its rough, almost garage-gospel sound is an outlier among Green's earlier works. The Belle Album means a lot to both Jim and Greg. Greg calls it "a transitional album that was also a masterpiece."

Go to episode 625
dijs

Greg

“He's My Son (Just the Same)”O.V. Wright

This week, Greg takes us to the Desert Island and chooses a classic deep soul record for the jukebox by O.V. Wright. Though the Memphis vocalist never achieved mainstream success in his short life, Greg thinks he is one of the "greatest soul singers of all time."

O.V. Wright had a“lot of experiences with heartache and disappointment”according to Greg. Those experiences helped color his work, including his excellent album Memphis Unlimited, released in 1973. Produced by Willie Mitchell (who most famously worked with Al Green), the album features Greg's desert island jukebox pick "He's My Son (Just the Same)". The song is about a man who came out of prison to find his wife had a child by his own brother. The anguish and the forgiveness communicated through O.V. Wright's performance is "heartbreaking and beautiful."

Go to episode 621
news

Music News

Sad news this week week: Memphis musician Willie Mitchell has died at the age of 81. Mitchell was a trumpeter, arranger and producer for Hi Records. There he helped to launch and evolve the careers of artists like Otis Clay, Syl Johnson and most notably, Al Green. Greg credits Mitchell with creating the signature horn and drum sound you hear on Green's recordings. They two even teamed up again in 2005 for the album Everything's OK. To honor the musician Jim and Greg play one of their favorite tracks—Ann Peeble's "I Can't Stand the Rain," as produced by Willie Mitchell.

Go to episode 215