'Teenie' Hodges: Stalwart guitarist of the Memphis Hi Rhythm group who also co-wrote several of Al Green's million-sellers


The guitarist Mabon "Teenie" Hodges was a mainstay of Hi Rhythm, the Memphis studio group assembled and mentored by the producer and songwriter Willie Mitchell to back Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson and OV Wright, the superlative Southern soul singers signed to Hi Records in the late 1960s and through most of the '70s.

As well as creating the deft rhythm guitar grooves and subtle playing underpinning classics like the 1974 Peebles hit "I Can't Stand The Rain" and made them so distinctive, he co-wrote several of Green's million-sellers, including "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)", "L-O-V-E (Love)", "Full Of Fire" and "Love And Happiness", as well as the much-covered, "Take Me to the River", the Green track re-recorded by Johnson in 1975 and perhaps best known in its version by Talking Heads.

Born in 1946, one of 12 children, he owed his nickname to his diminutive stature. He started playing guitar at 12 and accompanied his father in the Germantown Blue Dots, named after their Tennessean home town, before teaming up with brothers Leroy on bass and Charles on keyboards in Mitchell's live band. The Hodges Brothers formed the nucleus of Hi Rhythm, the studio group also including Archie Turner on piano as well as Al Jackson, Jr of Booker T & the MGs fame. Friendly rivals to the MGs at Stax and the "swampers" at Muscle Shoals in the mid-'70s, Hi Rhythm released two singles and an album, On The Loose, that became highly collectable in the rare groove era and have recently been reissued by Fat Possum.

As well as reuniting with Green on his 2003 album I Can't Stop, Hodges remained an in-demand session player who backed the American indie singer Cat Power on her 2006 soul-influenced album The Greatest and the subsequent world tour, and also worked with his nephew, the rapper Drake. Last year he was the subject of a documentary, Mabon "Teenie' Hodges: A Portrait of A Memphis Soul Original. He died of complications of emphysema.

Hodges had also done sessions at Stax, where he co-wrote the 1965 stormer "I Take What I Want" for Sam and Dave with Isaac Hayes and David Porter. "Teenie created the groove, the pocket, as one would call it," said Porter. "That came from the way he played rhythmically. That groove was what made the records for Al Green and so many others such big hits. And that sound, that feel, it came totally from Teenie's spirit. That's what the world should know about this man: his heart is in all those records."

Mabon Lewis Hodges, guitarist and songwriter: born Germantown, Tennessee 16 November 1946; married (six daughters, two sons); died Dallas 22 June 2014.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Science Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Science Teachers needed for s...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teachers with QTS nee...

PMLD Teaching Assistant Required - Nottingham

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently looking to ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments