Soul music icon Al Green honored by the Kennedy Center

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MEMPHIS, Tenn--Inside his Whitehaven offices and recording studio, Reverend Al Green showed us a wall covered in gold and platinum albums and pictures from around the globe.

"This over here is "Tired of Being Alone" and all of that," Rev. Green said.

It's a musical timeline that pays tribute to a soul icon whose music is timeless.

"We meet a lot of people who know you and just love you for you "Tired of Being Alone," and your "Let's Stay Together."

After moving from Forrest City, Arkansas 37 years ago, one place Al Green loves is his hometown of Memphis and its people.

"When I get ready to get my hair cut on Chelsea, and the guys are out on the street, they say 'when Rev. Al gets ready to get his hair cut he comes back to the hood, man.'"

Long before 'Reverend Al' was just "Al Green," the music great admits it took some time before he and famed producer Willie Mitchell discovered the true soul of his voice.

"(Yells) 'I'm So In Love With You' and Willie (Mitchell) said no, no, no! He said sing like Al Green and I said I don't know how Al Green sings. He said be yourself. I said I'm trying to sound like Wilson Pickett and he said forget about Pickett and Sam Cooke. I said man, I won't put nothing into it and just run the tape! and I went "I said 'Let's stay together' and Willie Mitchell said 'That's it, yea!"

Green said his sound is a lot of Soul, Gospel and even a little Country.

"Well, the whole thing goes together for me. People say that...(sings) "Ah Don't Look So Sad.. I Know It's Over." I said that comes from Nashville. I mean I got that song idea from Hank Williams' wife, Audrey Williams. "

Music is a huge part of his life, but his faith fills his soul. Every Sunday, Rev. Green is back in the pulpit at Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, the church he founded in 1976.

"Oh God, when you see the name it says it all right there. He's meant everything to little Al Green."

Regarding upcoming projects, Al Green will soon be back in this recording studio recording a brand new album with a classic Memphis sound and using  Memphis musicians.

"I'm working on a project now and I'm doing a Christian music album because that's what we are devoted to and that's what we are in, but I want to do it so everybody can enjoy it and it's loose and light so everybody can have fun."

Rev. Green also recently heard from CBS Late Show host David Letterman. Letterman had a special request.

"(Letterman says) I got to have you on there. This is my last season. This is my last go around. I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm retiring. (Green) I'm going to do his show. I'm going to do "Tired of Being Alone. (sings) "I'm So Tired of Being Alone." We're doing that for Letterman and it's going to be nice."

Another highpoint in Rev. Green's life is being named a 2014 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors awards in Washington.

"I mean 37 years worth of work and they put in and Los Angeles put in the application eight or nine years ago and finally they're getting around to Al Green. yea!!!!"

President Obama and the First Lady are scheduled to attend, but it won't be the first time the President has honored the soul legend.

Who can forget when the President serenaded Rev. Green with "Let's Stay Together?"

"(Alex asks:)How did he(PRESIDENT) do? (Green) He should have sung the song and let me do some of what he's done. He's really doing a great job.(laughter)"

From a U.S. President to fans around the globe, the Rev. Al Green feels blessed to have brought a little "Love & Happiness" into the lives of others.

"God has taken care of us on the road, 37 years and we never hit the ground or the seas yet. So, fingers crossed there you go."

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