Arguably the pre-eminent male soul singer of the 20th century, Arkansas-born Al Green shot to fame in the 1970s on a string of deeply Southern, arch-soulful hits in collaboration with Memphis producer Willie Mitchell like "Let's Stay Together" and "I'm Glad You're Mine." When the hits dried up, he become ordained as a minister, and in the late 1980s, he made a poignant return to secular music. Beyond his timeless brilliance as a pop songwriter, and despite years of troubling domestic problems, Al Green's peerless voice rises to the surface: ranging from a suffocated silken warble to a gritty sandpaper shout, his trademark singing is memorialized on five decades of recordings that are by turns interior and raucous, delicate and gutbucket-funky. Happy birthday, Rev.
You can always hear more Al Green on NPR's R&B and Soul music channel, I'll Take You There.