Memphis Guitarist Teenie Hodges 1945-2014 R.I.P.

Teenie Hodges

Helped usher in a classic era of Memphis soul as spearheaded by Al Green.

By Blurt Staff

Teenie Hodges, born Mabon Lewis Hodges and who was a hugely influential Memphis guitarist and songwriter, passed away June 22 at the age of 68. He’d been hospitalized in Dallas and the cause of death was announced as “complications of emphysema,” according to the Washington Post.

Hodges, of course, was one one of the architects of the vaunted Memphis soul sound of the ‘70s, writing a number of Al Green’s songs (among them, “Take Me To the River” and “Love and Happiness”) and working with producer Willie Mitchell, plus the Hi Records’ studio band: his brothers (organist Charles and bassist Leroy), drummer Howard Grimes and pianist Archie Turner. He also wrote for or worked with O.V. Wright, Syl Johnson, Ann Peebles, Isaac Hayes, Denise LaSalle—and his nephew, hip-hop artist Drake. Meanwhile, his songs were covered by a hugely diverse roster of artists, among them the Talking Heads, Tom Jones, Canned Heat, Mitch Ryder, Delbert McClinton, Graham Central Station and Living Colour.

He got his start at the age of 12 as a member of his father’s blues band, and in 1965 began what would be a long musical association by joining Mitchell’s band. Hodges’ last performance was in March in Austin during South By Southwest, after which he was hospitalized for pneumonia.

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