The producer and trumpeter Willie Mitchell, father of the Hi Records sound in Memphis, Tennessee, has died at age 81. If you've heard the soul hits Al Green and Ann Peebles recorded for Hi in the '60s and '70s, you've heard Mitchell's work -- and staggeringly good work it is, too. The Cleveland Scene has assembled some of Mitchell's best-known collaborations with Green here, and Funky 16 Corners has posted three of Mitchell's instrumentals here. And here's my favorite of the songs he produced for O.V. Wright:
Semi-obligatory quasi-political content: an article I wrote about southern soul music, regional culture, and race relations.
Update: Mark Richens has rounded up some more Mitchell appreciations here.