Most well known as a songwriter and guitarist for soul singer Al Green, he co-wrote Green's hits "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," "Love and Happiness," and "Take Me to the River." He is also remembered as the guitarist for the soul group Hi Rhythm Section.
When he was just twelve years old, he began playing guitar in his family's Germantown Blue Dots band. Early in his career, he was also a member of another of his family's bands, the Impalas.
In 2013, a documentary film based on his life won an Indie Memphis Film Festival audience award.
Born Mabon Lewis Hodges, he grew up in Germantown, Tennessee, with musician brothers named Charles and Leroy Hodges. Over the course of his three marriages, he fathered children named Mabon, Inga, Shonte, Tabitha, Sheila, Cherie, Reginald, and Valencia.
His nephew Drake successfully pursued a career as a rapper. Another nephew, Anthony Lofton, became a jazz musician.