January 6, 2010

In 1972 when I was General Professional Manager of Warner Brothers Music in Hollywood, I was asked by the film company to find a hit R&B artist to write and record the title song for a new “Blaxploitation” film, “Cleopatra Jones”.

After meeting with Joe Simon (“The Chokin’ Kind”) and The Chi – Lites (“Have You Seen Her?”) in New York, I took the Redeye to Memphis on a chance that I could get Al Green (“Let’s Stay Together”) interested in the project.

I stopped by Stax records to say a quick hello to my longtime friend and sometime collaborator Steve Cropper (“Dock Of The Bay”, “In The Midnight Hour”), then I went over to Hi Recording Studios to see producer Willie Mitchell, Al Green’s co-writer and producer (“Tired Of Being Alone”). He wasn’t expecting me and was in the middle of a recording session with Ann Peebles and “I Can’t Stand The Rain”.

Willie, who had done a brilliant cover of “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” from our Bee Gee’s catalog, with Al Green; lit up when I told him I’m looking for someone to score, “Cleopatra Jones”. Unfortunately, Al Green isn’t available, because his tour had been extended.

I smile, shrug my shoulders and spend the rest of the afternoon listening to Ann Peebles finish up her classic hit!

Willie Mitchell R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY!

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

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  1. Barry Osalncer Says:

    Artie I met Willie years ago and just once at his studio…I drove down to his studio from Nashville and he gave me the full studio tour. The control room was new and the record room was old and gray so I aske him why he did not also dress up the room…He siad he did not want to change the sound…And I can see his point since what your really doing is recording the sound of the room. He was a nice fellow, he was a talented fellow. Warnest, Barry O

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