RIP Producer Willie Mitchell



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)"

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.