Let’s Stay Together – Al Green – 1971

Al Green, Let's STay Together album coverLet’s Stay Together was Al Green’s first big hit. It rose to #1 on the US singles chart – his only song to do so. He has, however, reached #1 in the USR&B charts six times and sold over 20 million records.

al green rediscovered

Man, I’ve heard this song a lot lately. It’s seems the younger folk are discovering the Reverend Al Green and this is one of their favourites.

albert greene

Some people, it seems, can sing totally without effort. Al is one of those people.

Al’s had an interesting life. The sixth of ten children, he began performing when he was just ten years old – in a quartet with his brothers. His father kicked him out of the group when he caught him listening to Jackie Wilson. I’m not too sure why this was such a sin but assume his dad wanted the boys to sing gospel only??

Anyway, Al dropped an ‘e’ from the end of his name and became Al Green, one of the greatest soul singers of all time.

the birth of the reverend al green

By the time the seventies were a few years old, Al Green was big – huge, in fact – but controversy changed that.

In 1974, Mary White, a girlfriend of Al’s, assaulted him before committing suicide at his Memphis home. She was reportedly upset that Al refused to marry her,

Mary White doused Green (Ha! sounds like a colour war) with a pan of boiling water while he was showering before taking her own life.

Al later recalled the incident as a wake-up call to sort his life out. He became an ordained pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. He still serves in this way leading services just down the road from Elvis’ Graceland.

Then, in 1979, Al was injured when he fell off stage while performing. He decided this had to be a message from God and so concentrated on pastoring his church and producing gospel music.

In recent years, however, he’s been back rediscovering his R and B roots.

al awards

For the record,

  • Al was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • In 2004 he was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame and
  • Rolling Stone magazine listed him as #65 of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

let’s stay together fax

  • Let’s Stay Together is the title track of on Al’s 1972 album which   went to #1 on the US R&B charts.
  • Let’s Stay Together was released as a single in 1971 (before the album) and reached #1 on the US charts. It remained on the chart for 16 weeks.
  • Let’s Stay Together sat at #1 on the R&B charts for nine weeks and was the top R&B song for the year 1972,
  • Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Let’s Stay Together at #60 on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • In 2010, Let’s Stay Together was selected by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. That’s a big deal! It means it is considered to be culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
  • Al Green co-wrote Let’s Stay Together.
  • Many soul critics consider this to be one of the best songs ever written.
  • Cover versions of Let’s Stay Together have been produced by artists such as: Roberta Flack, Michael Bolton, Donny Osmond, Boyz II Men, Big Mountain, Isaac Hayes, Shirley Bassey, Guy Sebastian, and Craig David. The best known cover, however, was by Tina Turner in 1983. It’s credited with revitalising Tina’s flagging career.
  • Let’s Stay Together has been used in the movies Pulp Fiction, Munich, Down to You, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
  • Let’s Stay Together appears in an episode of Ally McBeal in which Al guest stars
  • Let’s Stay Together was used in a television commercial for Tide laundry detergent.
  • Let’s Stay Together lyrics.

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let’s stay together – al green – 1972


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