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/

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