June 14, 1942, is the date the vibrant, soulful, pleading voice of Garland Green was first showcased as a newborn. Green was the tenth of 11 children. Though born in Dunlieth, MS, he attended school in nearby Leyland, where he sang in the school's gospel group. In 1958 he moved to Chicago, IL, to complete his education at Englewood High. He worked after school and sang with groups or soloed on weekends. He met his first mentor when he was singing in a pool room. Argia B. Collins owned a string of barbecue joints and even manufactured his own sauce, called Mumbo. Impressed by Green's voice and not knowing what else to do, Collins paid for Green to attend the Chicago Conservatory of Music for two years. While in school studying piano and voice he performed at local clubs nightly.
Another break came his way when Mel Collins witnessed the full-throated singer at an amateur talent show at the Sutherland Lounge. Collins was the husband of Josephine "Joshie" Armstead, a noted songwriter who earlier co-wrote tunes with Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson like "Let's Go Get Stone," "Cry Like a Baby," and many others. Armstead loved his voice, detecting a quality the ladies would like. They recorded him in Detroit and released the effort on their Gamma Record label and it did so well locally that MCA Records plucked it for national distribution, placing it with their subsidiary, Revue Records. Revue would release three more singles on Green that did well enough to keep recording him. He was then moved to MCA's Uni label and scored his biggest hit ever, "Jealous Kind of Fella," which went to number five on the R&B chart and number 20 on the pop chart. "Jealous Kind of Fella" was written by Rudolph Browner, Garland Green, Maurice Dollison, and Joshie Armstead. Uni released an 11-track album to capitalize on the single's success. His next release didn't fare as well and Green left MCA and Joshie Armstead and headed for Atlantic Records' Cotillion label. Five singles were released on Green in two and a half years. His biggest on Cotillion was "Plain and Simple Girl" which obtained the 17th position on Billboard's R&B chart -- the others did nothing. Cotillion never issued an album on Green.
He then recorded for Spring Records; again five records were released in a short time span, 18 months. The singles charted but only in the 60s and 70s of the R&B chart. Though only minor successes, the recordings were good. Kent Records in the United Kingdom released an album in 1990 entitled Garland Green -- The Spring Sides. After Spring, a blues record was cut on a small label before he signed with RCA, who put out three singles and an album. Leon Haywood produced the sides in Los Angeles, CA. Sadly, RCA didn't promote the album well and nothing significant resulted from the association. After RCA he didn't record again for nearly seven years before he signed with Ocean Front Records and was produced by Lamont Dozier. An album resulted which also was produced by Dozier and on some tracks Arlene Schesel, who headed the label's A&R department. Schesel and Green made a love connection and got married. Recordings after Ocean Front were sporadic and mostly on the Green's own labels. He never did achieve the success of "Jealous Kind of Fella" again, but you can't say he didn't try. ~ Andrew Hamilton, Rovi