This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #320: Love and Happiness by Rev. Al Green.
Al Green has been described as the last of the great Soul singers. His name is evoked with the same respect and reverence as singers like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Al Green had been a singer his whole life; starting out in Elementary School, singing with childhood friends, all the way to being inducted into The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. His biggest hit was a song called, “Let’s Stay Together” but he had several other strong songs such as “Take Me To The River” (famously covered by The Talking Heads), “I’m Still in Love With You”, “Tired of Being Alone” and, today’s song of the day, “Love and Happiness”. Al Green has won 11 Grammy Awards, most of which were in the Gospel category. He has also been given a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, too.
Al Green is a person and a performer who has climbed to the very apex of the mountain but, who has, also, dwelt in the darkest shadows of the deepest valleys. For every stretch of musical success he has achieved, Al Green has also known failure. He has released albums that reached Gold status and other albums that sold so poorly that his record company threatened to drop him from their label. In his personal life, he has known Love but he has also known heartbreak. In the early 1970s, his girlfriend committed suicide when he initially refused her pleas to get married. The combination of her death (and all of the fallout that happened afterwards), along with his plummeting record sales, all caused Green to believe that God was sending him a message that he should abandon his secular ways and return to the Church (where he spent much time as a child). So Al Green enrolled in the seminary and transitioned into the man we now know as Reverend Al Green. It was in his capacity as a clergyman that he recorded many of the Gospel-oriented songs that ended up winning him so many Grammy Awards.
Regardless of what was going on in his life or in his career, the one thing that never changed was that soulful voice that he possessed. In the video you are about to see for “Love and Happiness”, you are going to bear witness to some of the smoothest, most stylish singing you have ever heard! In the midst of all sorts of personal torment, Rev. Al Green could always fall back on his God-given gift…..his voice. I am not any kind of expert when it comes to religion but, if this is the voice of God emanating from the mouth of the Rev. Al Green then God sounds wonderful.
So, without further delay or procrastination, here is Rev. Al Green with one of his biggest hits, “Love and Happiness”. Enjoy and God Bless!
The link to the video for the song, “Love and Happiness” by Reverend Al Green can be found here. ***The lyrics version can be found here.
The link to the official website for Reverend Al Green can be found here.
Thanks to Rolling Stone Magazine for supporting music from all eras and genres. The link to their wonderful website can be found here.
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