By Robert M. Marovich

Darrell Luster of Malaco Music Group informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Henry Green, a longtime member of the Williams Brothers gospel quartet, passed away on Sunday, February 4, 2024, at the age of 80.

Green was born in Amite County, Mississippi, on March 23, 1943. He joined the Williams Brothers when Leon “Pop” Williams, the group’s founder, heard the young man singing at a Liberty, Mississippi, church. “I Thank You Lord,” one of the first four sides the Williams Brothers recorded (ca. 1967-8), represented Green’s first vocal lead on record.

The mellow first tenor singing of Green was an ever-present part of the Williams Brothers’ harmonies as the quartet’s reputation soared beyond Amite County. Song Bird Records, an all-gospel subsidiary of Peacock, signed the quartet in the late 1960s but appeared at first to be unsure of their capacity for success. That is, hedging their bets, they teamed the fellows with female vocalist Sister Lee Ida Brown and released an album on which the Williams Brothers had to share disc space with the Jackson Southernaires, another young and emerging Mississippi quartet.

By the early 1970s, however, the Sensational Williams Brothers had garnered a sufficiently large fan base to stand solidly on their own. They eventually performed coast-to-coast and around the world, appearing at such iconic venues as the Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and Carnegie Hall. They shared the stage with some of the most popular gospel stars, including the Reverend James Cleveland, where they were part of Cleveland’s โ€œWorldโ€™s Greatest Gospel Show.” They went on to record for Nashboro, Savoy, Malaco, Myrrh, Tomato, Melendo, and other imprints. The Sensational Williams Brothers kept one foot in traditional gospel quartet singing and the other in the contemporary sounds of the era. As such, they helped pave the way for today’s contemporary quartet sound.

The Sensational Williams Brothers’ honors include more than 17 Stellar Awards, a BMI Trailblazer Award, Soul Train Awards, 5 GRAMMY nominations, and induction into the International Gospel Hall of Fame. Though not a Williams by blood, Henry Green was family. He was part of it all.

Blackberry Records, the Williams Brothers’ label, released solo recordings by Green in the mid-2000s, teaming him with such luminaries as John P. Kee and his pal, Melvin Williams of the Williams Brothers.

Henry Green now knows for certain what a 1976 Williams Brothers track suggested: “Heaven Must Be a Beautiful Place.”

Please join JGM in extending your sympathies to the family, fans, and many friends of Henry Green, and especially the members, past and present, of the Williams Brothers.

25 Comments

  1. Charletta Jordan of Hattiesburg Ms.a long time follerof the Williams Brothers since the early 1970s have most of their cds which i enjoy great inspiration and encouraging words to the soul words of faith,love,and trusting godb February 9, 2024 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    May God be with the family.keep the faith keep holding on be strong God will see you through it all.

  2. William and Belva Simmons February 10, 2024 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Well done faithful servant. Take your rest in the loving arms of Jesus.

    • Retha Byrd May 19, 2024 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      RIP Mr. Green. I enjoyed your music. My condolences to your family, friends and fans.

  3. Linda Neylon Cole February 10, 2024 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    This news really hurts. I was watching the group on Saturday 02/10/24 suddenly feeling compelled to learn more about the group when to my surprise I found out that Mr. Green had passed. We are truly grief stricken. Condolences to the family and the remaining members of the Williams Brothers
    He will missed

  4. Katherine Sands February 10, 2024 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Henry Green you threw me for a loop with this one, I will truly miss you, my condolences go out to your family and friends. You will always be a real true friend to me, I love you and I always will. R.I.P. Green you fought a great fight a job well done my dear friend. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”

  5. Carolyn Smith February 11, 2024 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Lord God thank you for giving us Mr. Henry Green through your Spiritual gospel music ministry with The Sensational Williams Brothers I have had over 50 years of the ministry thanks Mr.Green RIP!

  6. Glenn Davis February 11, 2024 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Rest in Heaven, my Brother…. it was a pleasure to have met you when you came to Folkston, GA about 20 years ago… I felt blessed that you, a Superstar of the Gospel took out the time with me, a nobody, and made me feel like somebody… Blessings to Jessica and all the family, Williams Brothers too… you all made me feel like we knew each other for a long time, allowing me on the Bus, along with Terrell, Dwight, (R.I.P.), Carlous,and Stan… Thanks, so much,”Mr. G”!! Love you always!!

  7. wvoe1590am radio station 1528old hwy 74 west Chadbourn, N.Cstattn. February 12, 2024 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Wvoe 1590am Chadbourn, N. C sends our condolences to the family and The Williams Brothers, your music shall continue to be played, rest in peace Henry take your rest, sing your song in heaven

  8. Bernadette February 12, 2024 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Thank you for allowing God to use you to minister in song with the Williams Brothers to us. God please bless and comfort the family, friends, and fans. I was glad to have seen you all perform in person.

  9. Debrah Scott Cyprisn February 13, 2024 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    My deepest condolences to the family especially Melvin and Doug Prayed that one day you guys could give one more performance however Henry left so soon. He is using that powerful Tenor voice in heaven.
    Bless you BROTHERS for what you contributed to the world.
    LONG TIME FAN
    DEBRAH SCOTT CYPRIAN

  10. Pastor Robert D. Williams Sr February 14, 2024 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Praying for the family that God give you peace that surpasses all understanding!

  11. WillieD.Price February 14, 2024 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    RIP Henry ๐Ÿ™ Melvin came to Ricebore GA And I went An Purchashed Hats For Each of Them To Show My Thanks To Them And Hopefully Henry Gots His With His Name On It . THERE MUSIC HAS BEEN A Souce Of Inspiration Over The Years .Rest Easy My Brother

  12. Bernice Loadholt February 17, 2024 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Condolences to the Williams family so sorry for your loss he was a great singer n will b greatly miss he earned his wings ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ–ค๐ŸŽค๐Ÿ•Š

  13. Al Jackson February 18, 2024 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear about the passing of Henry Green. My Condolences to the family. My prayers and love for the family and the great Williams Brothers.
    AL JACKSON.

  14. Elder Jerome Gist Sr. February 22, 2024 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Good evening Family & The Williams bro
    First my heart and prayers are with the family as well as the William Brothers The William Brothers have tremendously touch my life throughout the years with their music their encouragement through their music and I do wants to say that he will be tremendously missed God bless you God keep you and for God forever keep you strong during this time God bless

  15. Sandra Young February 23, 2024 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Deepest Condolences to the Green Family and the William Brothers (Family); I met you all when Leonard was a part of the Quartet back in the early 70s. On one of your many, many visits to Montgomery, AL , Mr. Henry Green met my son, Timothy when he was about 10 years of age (and was a drummer in our church). Tim was really out going and questioned Henry about how he could become a drummer for a gospel group. While the guys were breaking down the equipment and instruments, Henry asked them to let Tim play something on the drums. He encouraged Tim to continue to pursue his dream and that one day he could be on the stage playing behind them (William Brothers). Just made my babyโ€™s day!! Your love and kindness was always remembered!!! RIH peace Mr. Henry Green and we know you are now, Singing ๐ŸŽถ in that Heavenly Choir!!!!

  16. James Nickelberry February 27, 2024 at 11:52 am - Reply

    One of the most important gospel groups of all time. The whole world was made a better place due to the importance of Mr. Green. God Bless his soul and hid family.

    James and Ethel Nickelberry of Southern California

  17. James Nickelberry February 27, 2024 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Mr, Green went through it all hailing from the state of Mississippi during the time of legal segregation. The music the William brothers put down was inspirational yo all of us as we tolled in the cotton fields of neighboring states. We could not have made it through without this remarkable music. God Bless Mr . Green and his legacy
    Jamesnickelberry

  18. Hill February 29, 2024 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    From one musician family to another be encouraged and trust GOD ๐Ÿ™
    It was nice meeting with you after one of the gospel concerts in Houston.
    RIP Henry ๐Ÿ™โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

  19. Evonne moses March 6, 2024 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry for yall loss he will be truly miss I love seeing him sing will yall may Jesus be with the family keep your head up everything’s is going to be alright

  20. Evonne moses March 6, 2024 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry to hear about yall brother he was a great singer he going to be truly miss

  21. Glenda a Burns April 18, 2024 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    God bless you Richly and I will never forget how The Williams Brothers and Mr.Henry Green has been a Blessing in my Children and mind, all the way from Las Vegas, Nv.we woke up on Saturday morning cleaning up the house to the Williams Brothers. Our prayers are with you and his Family. THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND FOR ALL OVER THE WORLD LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC ๐ŸŽถ .

  22. Zymir green April 29, 2024 at 4:42 am - Reply

    I pray that god will provide peace in this troubling time I am praying for the green family and the Williams bros brother green Connor take your rest .

  23. Viney Washington May 1, 2024 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I’m really sorry to hear about Bro Henry Green RIL praying for the family

  24. A. Mitchell-Cross June 2, 2024 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    RIP brother Henry Green. My condolences the the family. I am a long time follower one the Williams โ€™ Brothers gospel music. I grew up listening to all their songs.

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.