Al Green Writing Autobiography

With book, 'Ally McBeal' appearances, R&B/gospel legend emerging from low profile he's kept during past two decades.

R&B/gospel legend Al Green — who released his Greatest Gospel Hits last month and has appeared on several recent episodes of TV's "Ally McBeal" — is emerging further from the low profile he's kept during the past two decades.

Green is working on an autobiography, tentatively due in September, and he will receive the key to his hometown, Grand Rapids, Mich., on July 5.

Green is writing the book — titled "Take Me to the River," after Green's 1974 hit — with author David Seay, who wrote the liner notes to Green's Greatest Gospel Hits.

Best-known for such songs as 1971's "Let's Stay Together " and "Tired of Being Alone" (RealAudio excerpt) and 1977's "Belle," Green had a "born-again" experience in 1973. According to Seay's liner notes, Green felt he "let the love of God languish as I pursued my own lusts and desires."

Green continued to record gospel and secular hits until 1978, when he turned his attention primarily to spiritual music. In 1976 he founded the Full Gospel Tabernacle church in Memphis, Tenn. He preaches there regularly.

He occasionally sings his R&B hits in concert; on "Ally McBeal," he sang his version of the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" in the title character's dream sequences during the 1998–99 season.

Green, 54, will play seven dates in June and July, including an appearance in Grand Rapids in honor of "Al Green Day."