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Rock Hall Connection: Guitarist Teenie Hodges

The Memphis music scene has spawned many notable acts including Otis Redding, Al Green and the Bar-Kays. The scene was also home to labels Stax and Hi. But the city of Memphis, Tennessee would also spawn a guitarist who would become a towering figure in the city’s music scene, as well as weave a connection with other artists, some of which have gone on to become inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The guitarist was Teenie Hodges, and according to a longtime friend, the musician died Sunday night at the age of 68, after suffering from complications of emphysema. Born Mabon Lewis Hodges, and given the nickname Teenie because of his size, he became the go-to guitartist for Memphis soul during the 1960s and 70s. He worked with artists including Etta James and Issac Hayes. But he would mostly be associated with Al Green, as he co-wrote two of the soul legend most memorable tunes “Take Me to the River” and “Love and Happiness”. While neither one of them were big hits, they were both regarded as among the greatest songs of all time, as well as being covered by numerous artist including the Talking Heads, The Band’s Levon Helm, Tina Turner, and Living Colour.

Other Green hits Hodges had co-wrote include “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” and “L-O-V-E (Love)

Hodges was also a member of Hi Records’ Rhythm Section, recording with the label other major acts including Ann Peebles and Syl Johnson. He would also inspire dozens of artists including Michael Jackson and Cat Power (whom he recorded on her album The Greatest). In addition to being survived by eight children, he is also the uncle of rapper Drake.

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