Introduction to Garland Green


Short career summary on Garland Green

Garland Green (born Garfield Green Jr. in 1942) is an American R&B and soul singer and pianist who’s best remembered for his hit in the late 1960s music era, “Jealous Kind of Fella.” He was born in Dunleith, Mississippi but later moved to Chicago, Illinois. Naturally possessing a good and hearty voice, Green also took piano lessons through the financial assistance from Argia B. Collins, an owner of a BBQ joint who had overheard and been impressed with Green’s voice. He got a big break in 1967 when Mel Collins and his songwriter wife Joshie Jo Armstead happened to be one at the audience when Green performed at a local talent show, which he won. The couple arranged for Green a recording session in Detroit and the result became Green’s first record titled “Girl I Love You” released on Gamma Record label. It was so successful regionally that MCA’s subsidiary label Revue Records agreed to pick it up for national distribution. After three other singles, Green moved to Uni Records, where it released Green’s biggest hit ever in his career, “Jealous Kind Of Fella” which was also co-written by Armstead. But after Uni released Green’s first album and a few unsuccessful singles, Green left Uni and Armstead as well and signed with Cotillion Records (Atlantic’s subsidiary label). “Plain and Simple” proved to be the only success Green had carved out with Cotillion. Next he moved to Spring Records, then to RCA, releasing only moderately successful singles. In the late 1970s, he moved to California and got inked with Ocean-Front Records, a small indie label. He worked on an album co-produced by Lamont Dozier and Arleen Schesel; along the way, Schesel and Green fell in love and later married. After Ocean-Front, Green started to produce and release records on his own label and has been doing this ever since, although only occasionally.

Early years

American soul singer and pianist Garland Green was born Garfield Green on June 14, 1942 in Dunleith Mississippi. Around 1958, Green relocated to Chicago where he attended Englewood High School. He became a working student, performing on weekends to make ends meet. Later, Green was spotted by the local owner of a barbecue chain, Argia B. Collins who helped Green financially in his studies at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He took voice and piano lessons there.

Music career

Green had his stage debut after winning a local talent show, wherein the prize was an opportunity to open for Lou Rawls and Earl Hines’ concert at the Sutherland Lounge. Eventually, he was approached by the couple Mel Collins and songwriter Joshie Jo Armstead after his performance. The couple immediately made an arrangement for Green to cut a session in Detroit. The recording session resulted with the song “Girl I Love You.”  Released under Armstead and Collins’ Gamma Records, “Girl I Love You” sold well locally and was later bought by Revue Records (MCA subsidiary) to distribute the single nationwide.

In 1969, Green was moved to Uni Records (MCA’s parent label) and enjoyed his peak of success when he issued “Jealous Kind of Fella.” It soared at #5 on the Billboard chart and #2 on the Cashbox soul chart and by March 1971, it sold one million copies. Green released a couple of records under Uni but they failed to sell. In 1970, he moved to Cotillion Records (Atlantic subsidiary) where he had five singles. Most of his Cotillion singles went unnoticed except for “Plain and Simple Girl” which made on the R&B Top 20.

During in the early 1970’s to late 1980’s, Green continued to release singles for a variety of labels but unfortunately, he was never able to duplicate his success.

Green returned to the studio to record the album I Should’ve Been the One. The album was released in February 2012 and distributed by Special Soul Music, a new division of the CDS Records. It was his first album in nearly three decades.

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