R&B guitarist Mabon "Teenie" Hodges — who penned "Take Me to the River" with Al Green — passed away on June 22 at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The 68-year-old died of complications from emphysema.
"He was one of the cornerstones of the Memphis sound," said Lawrence Mitchell, manager of Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios ("The Home of the Memphis Sound") and a long-time family friend. "This is huge blow to Memphis music. Teenie was an icon as a songwriter and guitarist. Guitarists all around the world loved and imitated his playing, but, Teenie, man, he was one of a kind."
Hodges joined Willie Mitchell's Hi Rhythm band in 1965, and played on tons of sessions for the Hi Records label throughout the '60s and '70s. Other songs he wrote or co-wrote for Al Green include "Love and Happiness," "Here I Am," and "Full of Fire."
A documentary, Mabon 'Teenie" Hodges: A Portrait of a Memphis Soul Original was released in 2013, and the guitarist is also featured in this year's documentary on the Memphis music scene, Take Me to the River. In recent years, Hodges collaborated with Sam Moore, Cat Power, Boz Scaggs, Mark Ronson, and Drake (who is his nephew), and the Hi Rhythm band was a featured act at Austin's SXSW music festival in 2013.
Watch Teenie Hodges and the Hi Rhythm Band at SXSW 2013