Friday, 25 September 2020

Treat Him Right

Our final southern soul man this month is considerably lesser known than the previously featured heavyweights. Crossing over from the Augusta gospel scene, Mickey Murray had a huge hit out the gates with Shout Bamalama, but was unable to back it up despite some valiant efforts. He was a fan of James Brown and James Brown was a fan of his. Murray modelled a great deal of his material around the stylings of Brown, and also that of Otis Redding. Both of which, called Georgia home as well. Murray had a thickened layer of grit and gruff that give his songs a real raw and emotive feel, especially prominent on my preferred stock, his deep sides.

Born in South Carolina in the 1930s, Mickey Murray had roots in Georgia and shined shoes to help earn a living early in life. Murray and his brother, Clarence, started out singing gospel songs in Augusta and North Augusta. His brother would become a lead vocalist with the legendary Swanee Quintet based in Augusta. Mickey sang with the Dixie Jubilaires. It was Murray’s band teacher, Raymond Dean, at Jefferson High School in Bath, who hooked him up with Augusta show promoter Sam Gantt, the manager of a popular band called The Zippers. Through engagements promoted by Gantt, Murray was spotted by Shelby Singleton who signed him to his newly minted SSS International label in 1966. Early the following year Murray's "Shout Bamalama" single and accompanying album proved to be the labels first smash hit. The song was a million-seller and thrust Murray into an albeit brief brush with success. Murray opened shows for Aretha Franklin at Harlem’s famed Apollo theater and toured with such hot acts as Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers and The Isley Brothers. His follow-up singles for SSS included a duet 45 with brother Clarence but it and the others did not register sadly. Murray signed with King Records subsidiary Federal Records in early 1970 and recorded the album People Are Together. The album however, wasn't really released. If it was, it was in limited numbers and not promoted at all. "It was a risky endeavor to push “People Are Together” as the album’s lead single in the South.  It was reportedly black DJs who killed the record, labeling it as too progressive and fearing that they’d lose their on-air jobs should they play it. It doesn’t sound remotely controversial today:  It’s a call to all of mankind to join together and love one another, in the spirit of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and many other songs of its time. Regardless, fame and a longer singing career didn’t follow for Murray, although he’d record later in life.  But the defiantly hopeful “People Are Together,” written by Bob Garrett and Calvin Arline, now stands as a virtually unheard gem; whether it was known to the public when it was recorded more than 40 years ago is irrelevant. What is relevant is the song itself, a timeless three-minute sermon which implores us all to give a little more love." Other singles from the album were released but also failed to register. Murray had one follow-up 45 for Federal in 1972 and then dwindled into obscurity. He had a terrible 45 for the Pepco label in 1975 and an even worse one for Earth Quake Records in 1979. A near decade later Murray fronted some tracks for funk-revival outfit, The Jungle Band, whose recordings were issued by Charly Records in 1988. Fast forward to 2012. After a little gentle persuasion, a 74 year-old retired Murray, sees his People Are Together album finally getting the release and acknowledgement it deserved over forty years prior. Secret Stash re-issued the album and convinced Murray to perform to promote the release at the Cedar Cultural Centre in Minnesota. He was backed by a six-piece band that included Secret Stash owners Eric Foss on drums and Cory Wong on electric guitar. 

Treat Him Right collects the complete recordings up until 1972. It omits the two less than favorable mid to late 70s singles but does include the Jungle Band LP (c/o the mighty Sir Shambling). All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

GGG Presents Deep Dish Delicacies Vol. 39

01. Kim Melvin - 1969 - Keep The Faith (Hi 2160)
02. A.C. Poston - 196? - You Were Made For Me (Sympathy 39133)
03. Gorgeous George - 196? - You Can't Stop A Woman (Unissued Peachtree)
04. Leon Haywood - 1964 - Ever Since You Were Sweet Sixteen (Galaxy LP 8206)
05. The Mad Lads - 1967 - You're My Inspiration (Volt 150)
06. Nancy Butts - 1969 - Go On To Her (Flaming Arrow 38)
07. Danny White - 1968 - One Way Love Affair (SSS International 754)
08. The Capitols - 1970 - When You're In Trouble (Karen 1549)
09. Bobby Patterson - 1972 - One Ounce Of Prevention (Paula LPS 2215)
10. Maurice & Mac - 1969 - I'm Afraid To Let You Know (Unissued)
11. Roy Lee Johnson - 1968 -Take Me Back And Try Me (Phillips 40558)
12. Howard Tate - 1970 - My Soul's Got A Hole In It (Turntable LP TTS-5002)
13. Debbie Taylor - 1969 - Let's Prove Them Wrong (GWP 501)
14. Jimmy Hughes - 19?? - I Worry About You (Unissued Volt)
15. Bobby Bland - 1973 - (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right (ABC LP DSX-50163)
16. O.C. Tolbert - 1974 - That's Enough (Unissued Power House)
17. The Temprees - 1973 - You Make The Sunshine (We Produce LP XPS-1903)
18. Betty Wright - 1972 - Cryin' In My Sleep (Alston 4611)
19. James Carr - 1971 - I'll Put It To You (Atlantic 2803)
20. Arthur Ponder - 197? - Oh Baby Why You Want To Make Me Cry (Unissued Crow)
21. Huriah Boynton - 1969 - You're No Longer Mine (Lanor 547)
22. Richard Russell - 1969 - Wish You Were Here (Kashe 444)
23. Arthur Conley - 1967 - Let's Go Steady (Atco 6463)
24. Maxine Brown - 196? - That's All I Want From You (Unissued Wand)
25. Calvin Scott - 1971 - I've Made A Reservation (Stax 0094)


Friday, 18 September 2020

I'm A Lonely Stranger

Perfectly fitting for this month's motif but incredibly surprising even to me, that I've somehow managed to omit the incredible Arthur Conley from this site, up until now. As far as southern soulies go, this cat was in the upper echelons of the scene. He didn't draft the blueprint, but he was one of the most gifted architects to build upon it. Hell, he brought us the (inter)national anthem in 1967. 'Sweet Soul Music', co-written with mentor Otis Redding and based on Sam Cooke's 'Yeah Man', crams pretty much every key element of soul music into a blissful two and a half minute package. It's sweet, it's striking, it's tender, it's gritty, it get's mellow, it get's hard ... and all while paying homage to the heroes that came before. I don't often go for the "fan favorites" per say, I usually find my fav's in lost long player selections and 45 flipsides but you'd simply have to be off your rocker to not absolutely adore this jam. And though no other cut was ever as well received, Conley's sweet soul music didn't stop there. He recorded prolifically in the late 60s and early 70s, but sadly never achieved the stardom he most certainly deserved.

Arthur Lee Conley was born January 4, 1946 in McIntosh County, Georgia and grew up in Atlanta. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & The Corvets. With this group, he released three singles in 1963 and 1964—"Poor Girl", "I Believe", and "Flossie Mae"—on the Atlanta-based record label, NRC Records. In 1964 Conley travelled to Baltimore where he recorded some demo tracks for the newly formed, Ru-Jac Records. No Conley single materialized but he was the featured vocalist on Harold Holt's release, "Where You Lead Me" bw "I'm A Stranger" for Ru-Jac. When Otis Redding heard this, he asked Conley to re-record new versions of the tracks, which was released on Redding's own fledgling label Jotis Records, as only its second release. An additional Jotis single was followed by a couple issued on Fame Records and then in 1967, Conley and Redding re-wrote Sam Cooke's "Yeah Man" into "Sweet Soul Music" and recorded it at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It proved to be a massive hit, going to the No. 2 position on the U.S. charts and the Top 10 across much of Europe. "Sweet Soul Music" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The Sweet Soul Music long player was released that same year on Atco Records, subsequently followed by 3 more LP's for the label and a short-lived super group (The Soul Clan) featuring Joe Tex, Don Covay, Solomon Burke and Ben E. King all before the end of 1969. Conley maintained a modest string of minor hits through to the early 70s but never matched his prior success. Late in 1971 Conley moved to Capricorn Records and released a few singles but each proved to be less successful than the previous. In and around 1973/74 Conley recorded an albums worth of material produced by Jerry 'Swamp Dogg' Williams Jr. which went largely unissued until 1988. Soon after these recordings, Conley relocated to England in 1975, and spent a couple years in Belgium, settling in Amsterdam (Netherlands) in the spring of 1977. Conley was gay, and several music writers have said that his homosexuality was a bar to greater success in the United States and one of the reasons behind his move to Europe in the first place. Finally he was free to live the life he was meant to, without prying eyes. With only one single release since his departure from the U.S., clearly music was not his concern. He did however re-surface early in 1980 for a series of live performances at the Ganzenhoef, Paradiso, De Melkweg and the Concertgebouw as Lee Roberts & The Sweaters. The set list was largely comprised of classics by Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Sam Cooke and the Big O. The concerts were recorded and a portion of the songs were eventually released in 1988. At the end of 1980, Conley moved to the Dutch town of Ruurlo legally changing his name to Lee Roberts—his middle name and his mother's maiden name. He promoted a variety of new and local music via his company, Art-Con Productions. Conley died at the age of 57 from intestinal cancer in Ruurlo, Netherlands in November 2003. He is buried in Vorden.

I'm A Lonely Stranger gathers all four LPs in both mono and stereo (*), the Swamp Dogg recordings issued by P-Vine, the full digital release of Lee Roberts & The Sweaters and a complete singles collection featuring some really rare sides, demo recordings, unissued cuts, and other treats. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, plus Loofer and SirShambling for their direct contributions. Enjoy.

(*) Note: the Sweet Soul Music LP was mostly tracked in mono and as such only 2 or 3 of the songs are true stereo. The majority are actually presented in electronically enhanced dual-channel mono, for a faux-stereo effect.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 53

Here's some fairly obscure southern soulies in a nice tight Goodie Grab Bag ....

Oscar Mack - Discography 1963-68 [8sides]
01. Oscar Mack - 1963 - Don't Be Afraid Of Love (Volt 107)
02. Oscar Mack - 1963 - I See My Baby Coming (Volt 107)
03. Oscar Mack - 1964 - Dream Girl (Stax 152)
04. Oscar Mack - 1964 - You'll Never Know How Much I Love You (Stax 152)
05. Oscar Mack - 196? - I'll Go On Lovin' You (Tyrone 101)
06. Oscar Mack - 196? - Hotdogs, Peanuts, Popcorn (Tyrone 101)
07. Oscar Mack - 1968 - I'm Glad It's Over (Walco 1107) (Amy 110007)
08. Oscar Mack - 1968 - Put Out The Fire (Let Me Go) (Walco 1107) (Amy 110007)

Lee Bernard - Discography 1968 [4sides]
01. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Getting Out Of Town (Goldband 1190)
02. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Don't Drive Me Deeper (Goldband 1190)
03. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Our Love Will Always Be (Goldband 1198)
04. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Turn Around And Go (Goldband 1198)

Hugh Boynton - Discography 1969-74 [11sides]
01. Huriah Boynton - 1969 - You're No Longer Mine (Lanor 547)
02. Huriah Boynton - 1969 - You Went Back On What You Said (Lanor 547)
03. Hugh Boynton - 1970 - Girl I Feel It (Lanor 553)
04. Hugh Boynton - 1970 - Running Out Of Fools (Lanor 553)
05. Hugh Boynton - 1971 - I Can't Live My Life Without You [Part 1] (Lanor 561)
06. Hugh Boynton - 1971 - I Can't Live My Life Without You [Part 2] (Lanor 561)
07. Hugh Boynton - 197? - Sweeter As The Days Go By (Unissued Lanor)
08. Hugh Boynton - 197? - Funky Grasshopper (Lanor 571)
09. Hugh Boynton - 197? - No More No Less (Lanor 571)
10. Hugh Boynton - 1974 - We're Gonna Make It (Soul-Po-Tion 144)
11. Hugh Boynton - 1974 - If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right (Soul-Po-Tion 144)

Lots-A-Poppa - Discography 1963-67 [10sides]
01. Little Julius - 1963 - The Bachelor (Diamond 134)
02. Little Julius - 1963 - The Happy Song (Diamond 134)
03. Lots-A-Poppa - 1964 - I Found A Love (Tribe 8305) (Jet Stream 710)
04. Lots-A-Poppa - 1964 - That's Where It's At (Tribe 8305) (Jet Stream 710)
05. Lots-A-Poppa - 1965 - Look In Your Mirror (Jet Stream 714)
06. Lots-A-Poppa - 1965 - Tribute To Sam (Jet Stream 714)
07. Lotsa Poppa - 1967 - Tennessee Waltz (Jet 4011) (Lotta Soul 5001)
08. Lotsa Poppa - 1967 - She Ain't Gonna Do Right (Jet 4011) (Lotta Soul 5001)
09. Lukas Lollipop - 1967 - Don't Hold On To Someone (Who Don't Love You) (Loma 2067)
10. Lukas Lollipop - 1967 - Hoochi-Coochi-Coo (Loma 2067)


Friday, 11 September 2020

Win You Over

Where would southern soul music, no wait, popular music ... yeah ... where the hell would popular music be without the likes of David Porter? I'll put it out there right away; his voice does little for me so I'm not an adoring fan of his recordings but this man of modest Memphis roots was undeniably the catalyst of a musical (and by proxy, cultural) revolution. As a songwriter and composer, alongside partner Isaac Hayes, these two produced a large portion of the material released by Stax' cream of the crop in the 60s. Porter also brought Booker T. into the fold, who was responsible for the majority of the labels remaining output. No ifs, ands or buts about it ... Stax Records and its roster changed the world! The strength of Porter's early work for the label carries through to his own recordings in the 70s. They're more sophisticated and elaborate than his famed efforts which I don't think necessarily worked in Porter's favor. Regardless, his albums are unique, insightful, deeply layered, and not to mention, deliciously groovy.

Born November 21, 1941, Porter was the ninth of 12 children born to James and Corean Porter in Memphis. His career began in music after singing in church, school, Memphis venues and competitions, often with close friend and classmate Maurice White, who later founded Earth, Wind and Fire. Porter graduated from Booker T. Washington High in 1961 and later attended LeMoyne College. While still a high-school student working at a grocery across from Satellite Records, he went over to find if the label would consider recording soul music. After meetings with Chips Moman, Porter became active at Satellite as a songwriter. With this role, Porter arranged for his friends and classmates to record for the Satellite label, including Booker T. Jones, William Bell, and Andrew Love. Porter released his own debut in 1961 on the local Eagle label. Soon after this, Satellite re-branded as Stax Records, redefined their focus to become a soul music label and a legacy was forged. Porter was the first staff songwriter at Stax Records and developed his skills in A&R and songwriting.  His follow-up 45 however, was issued by Hi Records in 1962, under the pseudonym Kenny Cain. And two the following year were released by Savoy Records and under the pseudonym Little David. His first Stax release under his real name came in 1965. In Porter's A&R capacity at Stax, he signed acts including The Emotions, Homer Banks, The Soul Children and was a catalyst for bringing in Isaac Hayes as a writing partner. As house composers for Stax Records, Porter and Hayes penned most of Sam & Dave's hits, including "Soul Man", "I Thank You", "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'". They also wrote material for Carla Thomas ("B-A-B-Y"), Johnnie Taylor ("I Got to Love Somebody's Baby" and "I Had a Dream"), and The Soul Children. Starting in the late 60s, Hayes became increasingly focused on his own recording career, eventually leading to the end of the songwriting partnership. The Hayes-Porter duo composed 200 songs during their collaboration. Porter then began recording his own albums for Stax. He re-cut his '65 label debut "Can't See You When I Want To" which became a Top 30 R&B hit for Porter. He cut several albums for Stax in the early 70s, including a concept LP, Victim of the Joke? which includes an upbeat cover of The Beatles' "Help!". Porter began working with songwriting partner Ronnie Williams, and later went on to engineer the brief relaunch of the Stax label in 1978, after the bankrupt label's assets were acquired by Fantasy Records. He and Hayes received Pioneer Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1999. On June 9, 2005, Porter was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Bill Withers, Steve Cropper, Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman, John Fogerty, and his longtime writing partner Isaac Hayes. In 2012, Porter founded The Consortium MMT, a 501(c) non-profit with the goal of developing a viable music industry in Memphis through structured teaching, experience and mentorship. Porter was awarded the 2013 Governor's Arts Award for his achievements including the founding and success of The Consortium MMT venture. Porter currently has over 1700 songwriter and composer credits for a range of artists, including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Celine Dion, Otis Redding, Drake, ZZ Top, Tom Jones, Ted Nugent, Bonnie Raitt, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Patsy Cline, Albert King and Eurythmics.

Win You Over might do just that if you aren't already warm and cozy with Porter's work. We've got his 4 full-length albums for Stax/Enterprise (1970-73), the recently released 'Classics' collection featuring interview clips and insights into his famed cuts (with Hayes) for Sam & Dave, plus a singles/rarities collection that significantly favors the latter. It's got the Wattstax set alongside more than half a dozen unissued cuts, and the virtually unheard 1961 debut for Eagle alongside his early Hi and Savoy Records material, released under various pseudonyms. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders and the mighty Sir Shambling, enjoy.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

GGG Presents Darling Dear Vol. 08

Been taking as much time as possible away from the computer lately and forgot to hop on to post this on Monday. Better late than even later so here's the latest Darling Dear. Oh yeah, the treasure chest has been topped up and all the mega links have been replaced as well. 

01. Starlites - 1957 - Missing You (Peak 78-5000)
02. The Quadrells - 1956 - Come To Me (Whirlin Disc 103)
03. El Dorados - 1956 - A Fallen Tear (Vee Jay 78-197)
04. Parliaments - 1958 - Don't Need You Anymore (Len 101)
05. The Senders - 1959 - I Dream Of You (Kent 320)
06. The Fabulous Pearls - 1959 - My Heart's Desire (Dooto 448)
07. The Chantels - 1957 - The Plea (End 1001)
08. The Turbans - 1955 - When I Return (Money 211)
09. Five Wings - 1955 - Teardrops Are Falling (King 4781)
10. Lee Andrews & The Hearts - 1956 - Lonely Room (Gotham 7-G 320)
11. The Deltas - 1957 - Let Me Share Your Dreams (Gone 5010)
12. The Universals - 1957 - Again (Mark-X 7004)
13. Herman Dunham & The Blenders - 1959 - But I Know (Paradise 111)
14. The Five Keys - 1960 - No Says My Heart (King 5358)
15. The Big Tops - 1958 - I'm In Love (Warner 1017)
16. The Capers - 1958 - Miss You My Dear (Vee Jay 297)
17. The Dreamers - 1957 - Since You've Been Gone (Flip 319)
18. Donnie Elbert - 1960 - Will You Ever Be Mine (Vee Jay 336)
19. Shirley & Lee - 1960 - Let The Good Times Roll (Warwick 581)
20. The Timetones - 1961 - My Love (Time Square 421) (Relic 538)
21. Mark IV's w. Sam Fain - 1962 - The Tide Has Turned (Barry 105)
22. The Sharmettes - 1962 - Tell Me (King 5686)
23. The Vows - 1962 - I Wanna Chance (Markay 103)
24. The Splendors - 1960 - The Golden Years (Taurus 101)
25. Jerry Butler & The Impressions - 1959 - Give Me Your Love (Vee Jay LP 1029)


Friday, 4 September 2020

Love And Happiness

September's theme is an old familiar favorite ... southern soul soldiers! And when I think of those who led the charge and/or rose up through the ranks, Albert Leornes Greene certainly bubbles to the surface. The Reverend Al Green, widely referred to as "the last great soul singer", really was something else! Practically out of the gates, Green exuded greatness with soothing vocal delights akin to the incredible Sam Cooke, the sophistication of Marvin Gaye, and wrapped in all the southern swagger of Isaac Hayes. Under the wing of the legendary Willie Mitchell, the pair produced hit after hit for Hi Records throughout the 70s, and that was just the beginning of his career. Green continued on to release music through each of the four following decades.

Albert Leornes Greene was born on April 13, 1946, in Forrest City, Arkansas. The sixth of ten children born to Cora Lee and Robert G. Greene Jr. Al began performing with his brothers in a group called the Greene Brothers at around the age of ten. The Greene family relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the late 1950s. Al was kicked out of the family home while in his teens, after his devoutly religious father caught him listening to Jackie Wilson. He then lived with a prostitute, began hustling, and indulged in recreational drugs. In high school, Al formed a vocal group called Al Greene & the Creations. Two of the group's members, Curtis Rodgers and Palmer James, formed an independent label called Hot Line Music Journal. In 1968, having changed their name to Al Greene & the Soul Mates, they recorded the song "Back Up Train", releasing it on Hot Line Music. The song was a hit on the R&B charts and peaked at Number 46 in the Cash Box Top 100. However, the group's subsequent follow-ups failed to chart, as did their debut album Back Up Train. While performing with the Soul Mates, Green came into contact with Memphis record producer Willie Mitchell, who hired him in 1969 to be a vocalist for a Texas show with Mitchell's band. Following the performance, Mitchell asked Green to sign with his Hi Records label. Having noted that Green had been trying to sing like Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown, Mitchell became his vocal mentor, coaching him into finding his own voice. Before releasing his first album with Hi, Green removed the final "e" from his name. Subsequently, he released Green Is Blues (1969), which was a moderate success. His follow-up album, Al Green Gets Next to You (1971), featured the hit R&B cover of The Temptations' "I Can't Get Next To You", recorded in a slow blues-oriented version. The album also featured his first significant hit, "Tired Of Being Alone", which sold a million copies and was certified gold, becoming the first of eight gold singles Green would release between 1971 and 1974. Green's next album, Let's Stay Together (January 1972), solidified his place in soul music. The title track was his biggest hit to date, reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. The album became his first to be certified gold. His follow-up, I'm Still In Love With You (October 1972) went platinum with the help of the singles "Look What You Done For Me" and the title track, both of which went to the top ten on the Hot 100. His next album, Call Me (April 1973) produced three top ten singles: "You Ought To Be With Me", "Call Me (Come Back Home)", and "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)". In addition to these hit singles, Green also had radio hits with songs such as "Love And Happiness", his cover of the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", "Simply Beautiful", "What A Wonderful Thing Love Is", and "Take Me To The River", later covered successfully by Syl Johnson and new-wave band, Talking Heads. Green's album Livin' For You (December 1973) was certified gold. He continued to record successful R&B hits in the next several years (including "Livin' For You", "Sha-La-La (Makes Me Happy)", "Let's Get Married", "L-O-V-E (Love)" and "Full Of Fire") but Green's life was taking dark turns. On October 18, 1974, Green's girlfriend, Mary Woodson, assaulted him and then committed suicide at his Memphis home. Although she was already married with three children, Woodson became upset when Green refused to marry her. She doused him with a pot of boiling grits as he was preparing for bed in the bathroom, causing second-degree burns on his back, stomach, and arms which required skin grafts. Shortly after, Woodson fatally shot herself with his .38 handgun. A few days prior, Green had sent Woodson to convalesce at the home of his friend after she had taken a handful of sleeping pills and slit her wrists. Days after Green was released from Baptist Memorial Hospital Memphis, where he was treated for his burns, he was reportedly held hostage at gunpoint by his cousin who demanded that he owed her money. Green refused to press charges but took the totality of events as a wake-up call to change his life. Green did just that -- becoming an ordained pastor and establishing the Full Gospel Tabernacle church in Memphis -- in 1976. On June 15, 1977, Green married his first wife Shirley Green (née Kyles) in Memphis. Originally from Chicago, she was one of his backing vocalists and an employee at his church. By the time Green released The Belle Album in 1977, however, record sales had plummeted, partially due to Green's own personal issues during this time and his desire to become a minister. His last Hi Records album, Truth N' Time, was released in 1978 and failed to become a success. In 1979, Green injured himself falling off the stage while performing in Cincinnati and took this as a message from God. He then concentrated his energies towards pastoring his church and recording gospel music. From 1981 to 1989 Green recorded a series of gospel albums. While still under contract with Hi Records, Green released the 1980 album, The Lord Will Make A Way, his first of six albums on the Christian label Myrrh Records. The title song from the album would later win Green his first of eight Grammy Awards in the Best Soul Gospel Performance category. In 1982, Green co-starred with Patti LaBelle in the Broadway play, "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God". In 1984, director Robert Mugge released a documentary film, Gospel According to Al Green, including interviews about his life and footage from his church. In 1985, he reunited with Willie Mitchell along with Angelo Earl for He Is the Light, his first album for A&M Records. His 1987 follow-up, Soul Survivor, featured the minor hit, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright", which reached number 22 on the Billboard R&B chart, his first top 40 R&B hit since "I Feel Good" in 1978. Green returned to secular music in 1988 recording "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" with Annie Lennox. Featured on the soundtrack to the movie, Scrooged, the song became Green's first top 10 pop hit since 1974. Green had a hit in 1989 with "The Message Is Love" with producer Arthur Baker. Two years later, he recorded the theme song to the short-lived show Good Sports. In 1993, he signed with RCA and with Baker again as producer, released the album, Don't Look Back. Green received his ninth Grammy award for his collaboration with Lyle Lovett for their duet of "Funny How Time Slips Away". Green's 1995 album, Your Heart's In Good Hands, was released around the time that Green was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The one single released from the album, "Keep On Pushing Love", was described as "invoking the original, sparse sound of his [Green's] early classics." In 2000, Green released his autobiography, Take Me To The River. Two years later, he earned the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and recorded a hit R&B duet with Ann Nesby on the song, "Put It On Paper". Green again reunited with Willie Mitchell in 2003 for the album, I Can't Stop. A year later, Green re-recorded his previous song, "Simply Beautiful", with Queen Latifah on the latter's album, The Dana Owens Album. In 2005, Green and Mitchell collaborated on Everything's OK. Green's 2008 album, Lay It Down, was produced by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and James Poyser. It became his first album to reach the top ten since the early 1970s. The album featured a minor R&B hit with the ballad, "Stay With Me (By The Sea)", featuring John Legend and also featuring duets with Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae. During an interview for promotion of the album, Green admitted that he would have liked to duet with Marvin Gaye: "In those days, people didn't sing together like they do now." In 2009, Green recorded "People Get Ready" with Heather Headley on the album, Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration. In 2010, Green performed "Let's Stay Together" on Later... with Jools Holland. On September 13, 2018, Al Green released his first new recording in almost over ten years, "Before The Next Teardrop Falls," most famously recorded by Freddy Fender in 1975. It was produced by Matt Ross-Spang and is part of Amazon Music's new "Produced By" series. On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Al Green among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. 

Love And Happiness is quite the haul! All 29 studio albums [1967-2008], the Live in Tokyo double album, a complete singles collection [1967-1978], the 3 Rarities compilations (Love Ritual [1989], You Say It [1990] and Listen [2000]), as well as both 4CD collections. Anthology [1997] features all the hits with a number of rare live 70s recordings, unissued cuts and interview exerpts from the film 'Gospel According to Al Green'. The Immortal Soul of Al Green [2003] features all the hits with improved versions to many of the unissued cuts featured on earlier comps, and it comes with a whopper of a booklet. There's certainly a bit of over-lap here but well warranted here. All material originally released prior to 1990 (and much of the remainder) has been sourced from re-issued/remastered material. Oh, and as an added bonus, here's the film, Gospel According To Al Green. Video file is .mp4 and all audio files are chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

*extract all 4 parts together