Soul legend Green to perform at UA MLK ‘Dream’ concert

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2002

The Rev. Al Green, legendary soul and gospel singer, will highlight the 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. "Realizing the Dream" event at 7:30 p.m. on January 19 at the University of Alabama Moody Music Concert Hall.

Tickets for Green’s performance are $15 and will go on sale at 9 a.m. on January 7, at the Moody Music Hall box office.

For more information on tickets, call 1-205-348-7111.

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Sponsored in conjunction with Stillman College and Shelton State Community College, the annual event serves as a lasting tribute to the life and memory of Martin Luther King Jr. by presenting some of America’s best-known performers from the stage, screen and recording studio. Past performers have included Ossie Davis, Sidney Poitier, Roberta Flack, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson and Take 6.

Like Dr. King, he understands how hard it is to lead a spiritual life in a secular world. This is something we all have to think about, especially in these dark times."

Green was born in Arkansas and began performing at age 9 as part of his father’s gospel group, the Green Brothers. In 1969, he began a solo career, releasing his debut album, "Green is Blues," the following year.

His 1970 follow-up, "Al Green Gets Next To You," went gold thanks to the hit single, "Tired of Being Alone," while 1972’s "Let’s Stay Together" reached the Top 10 when its title track hit No. 1, according to Internet music sources.

Another 1972 release, "I’m Still in Love With You," reached No. 4, while 1973’s "Call Me" contained three Top 10 singles, "Here I Am," "Call Me," and "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)." Green became an R&B superstar, the sources said, known for his soulful voice, interesting musical arrangements, and energetic live shows.

Following a personal tragedy in 1974, Green became a preacher at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, where he still preaches today. An accident in 1979 also caused Green to shift his focus and he began recording albums of a Christian nature, mostly gospel standards and religious pop and R&B tunes.

In the mid-’80s, Green began to return to the mainstream, signing to A&M Records and recording a cover song of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" with Annie Lennox for the "Scrooged" movie soundtrack.

In 1989, Green had his first Top 40 R&B single in over a decade with "As Long as We’re Together," a duet with Al B. Sure.

By 1995 Green had made a full comeback to secular music, moving to BMG Records and releasing the long-awaited soul full-length "Your Heart’s in Good Hands." That same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The "Realizing the Dream" concert has become part of more than just the annual concert, expanding to include the Martin Luther King Distinguished Lecture Series. Now in its second year of attracting well-known civil rights figures to the Tuscaloosa community to discuss the past and future of civil rights in America, the lecture series is also a joint effort between UA, Stillman and Shelton State.