R&B producer Willie Mitchell passed away this morning in his hometown of Memphis. He was 81.
Mitchell was the guy behind most of Al Green's classic '70s recordings. It was his work on a string of timeless soul albums (like Let's Stay Together and Call Me) that helped form the Memphis sound of subtle horns and solid drum hits.
He started his career as a recording artist, but in 1970 he took over Memphis' Hi Records and signed Green, who he made a star.
After Green wigged out and found God at the end of the '70s, Mitchell continued producing other artists and releasing solo records. But nothing was as successful as his collaboration with Green — a partnership that remains one of pop's greatest.
In tribute to Mitchell, one of soul music's best producers, here's a video playlist of his Top 5 collaborations with Green. —Michael Gallucci
1. "Let's Stay Together"
2. "Tired of Being Alone"
3. "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)"
4. "I'm Still in Love With You"
5. "Call Me (Come Back Home)"