There’s a secret list inside my head of folks I’d love to have on The Sound of Young America, and Willie Mitchell was near the top. He was the architect of Hi Records, the label that defined the career of Al Green, Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson and others. He was peerless as a soul producer. The sound of those records is so beautiful, I simply can’t describe it. Among other influences, it defined the sound of the Wu-Tang Clan and D’Angelo’s Voodoo. The introduction to “Love and Happiness” is my favorite part of any song ever.
RIP to Willie Mitchell, dead at 81.