Many thanks to Colin for inexplicably giving up his ticket to see Al Green on the last night of the Rochester International Jazz Festival. Corinne and I went to see an amazing show, and I swear the man doesn’t sound a day older than he did in the 70′s. Hearing him sing the hits we know and love was amazing, but even moreso was the section of the set where he paid tribute to the music that inspired him. When he started singing “My Girl,” “I Can’t Help Myself,” “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay,” and especially “Bring It On Home To Me,” I got goosebumps.
Here are two of my favorite Al Green songs that are less than famous but beyond wonderful.
I Want To Hold Your Hand (John Lennon – Paul McCartney), December 1968
When I first heard this song I played it non-stop on repeat for three days. I can’t get enough of it. Apparently this was not a big hit when it came out, but I daresay I like it better than the original.
Old Time Lovin’ (Al Green), 1971
A few years later we hear Al after he discovered his distinctive less-is-more style of singing. It’s no surprise that this was recorded in the same session as Let’s Stay Together.
In my pie-in-the-sky daydreaming I thought how awesome would it be for Al Green to play at Swing And Soul, but a quick approximation of how much money he made the night I saw him definitely puts that idea in the realm of next-to-impossible. I highly recommend catching a show of his if you get the chance.