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Legendary Memphis Musician Mabon "Teenie" Hodges Dies at Age 68

Image courtesy of Photo: Susanna Vapnek (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Photo: Susanna Vapnek (via ABC News Radio)

Mabon "Teenie" Hodges , who was a longtime collaborator with Al Green and whose guitar playing was a cornerstone of the Memphis sound, died Sunday at the age of 68.  The Commercial Appeal reports that the acclaimed musician passed away at Dallas' Baylor University Medical Center from complications of emphysema.

Hodges was a member of the famed Memphis studio group the Hi Rhythm Section , the house band for producer Willie Mitchell 's Hi Records, and played on many recordings by Green and such other renowned artists as Ann Peebles and Syl Johnson .  Hi Rhythm also featured two of Teenie's brothers, the Reverend Charles Hodges on keyboards and Leroy Hodges Jr. on bass.

Teenie also was a songwriter who helped Green pen some of his classic tunes, including "Take Me to the River," "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" and "Love and Happiness."  In recent years, Hodges contributed his talents to a variety of projects recorded at Memphis' Royal Studios, which is run by Mitchell's grandson, Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell .  Among the artists on whose recordings he appeared recently were Boz Scaggs , Sam Moore , Mark Ronson and indie rocker Cat Power .  He also was the subject of a documentary called Mabon "Teenie" Hodges: A Portrait of a Memphis Soul Original that premiered at a number of film festivals last year.

"It's a huge blow to Memphis music," Boo Mitchell told The Commercial Appeal .  "Teenie was an icon -- as a songwriter and a guitarist.  Guitarists all around the world loved and imitated his playing.  But Teenie...man, he was one of a kind."


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