Al Green : Let It Shine
The violent night that ended with Mary Woodson scalding Al Green's bare back with grits before shooting herself left the soul singer --as he put it in his autobiography --“frightened for my very life and crying out to the heavens for a redeemer to come and rescue me from this sinful world.”
1976 is the year Green bought the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, in a Memphis neighborhood just south of Graceland. It reminded him of the little rural churches he visited with his sharecropper father in Arkansas. He preaches there to this day.
1976 is also the year Green continued his subtle pilgrimage from sensual soul music to gospel. Many of the lyrics on Full Of Fire could be read in either light. Producer Willie Mitchell didn't even realize the opening track of the new album, "Glory Glory" was a song of faith. The bouncy closing track, "Let It Shine", has the lines "I'm so glad that I'm free /Lord above would have blessed it on me"
Al Green was two years from walking away from the profane life of a soul singer to concentrate fully on the sacred.