June 25, 2014 / 4:05 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. guitarist, 'Take Me to the River' co-writer Hodges dies

(Reuters) - Mabon “Teenie” Hodges, a rhythm and blues guitarist who co-wrote hits with singer Al Green, including “Take Me to the River,” has died at the age 68 from complications related to emphysema.

Lawrence Mitchell, Hodges’ friend and Royal Studio chief manager, confirmed the death on Wednesday.

“He was one of the cornerstones of the Memphis sound,” Mitchell said.

Hodges teamed with R&B great Green for numerous hits, including “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” and “Love and Happiness.” Their song “Take Me to the River” was a hit for Green and also covered by artists in various genres, including Tina Turner, Foghat, Talking Heads, Levon Helm, Tom Jones, the Grateful Dead and Bryan Ferry.

Hodges, who was given his nickname due to his diminutive size, also was the guitarist for the Hi Rhythm band, which included his brothers and was considered the house band for the Hi Records label in the 1960s and ‘70s and helped make Memphis, Tennessee, a hotbed of soul and R&B recording.

The band played at the South by Southwest Music festival in Austin, Texas, in March, with promoters saying: “Hearing Teenie sing his songs live with Hi Rhythm is a rare treat for any music fan.”

He died at a Dallas hospital during the weekend, Mitchell said.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin; Editing by Bill Trott

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