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George Michael Green (January 28, 1952 – August 28, 2011) was an American songwriter who is perhaps best known for his collaborations with childhood friend, John Mellencamp. His compositions included the Top 10 Billboard hits "Crumblin' Down" and "Hurts So Good" (the latter of which was an RPM No. 1 hit in Canada), as well as another Canadian No. 1 hit in "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)".

George Green
Birth nameGeorge Michael Green
Born(1952-01-28)January 28, 1952
Seymour, Indiana, United States
DiedAugust 28, 2011(2011-08-28) (aged 59)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
GenresRock, heartland rock, roots rock, folk rock
Associated actsJohn Mellencamp

“George Green was a superb lyricist who played an important role in moving John Mellencamp along the road to seriousness as a songwriter,” Anthony DeCurtis, a longtime music writer and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine, told the Bloomington Herald-Times. “His plain-spoken, poetic touch lifted many of John’s songs, and, I believe, helped teach John what was possible for him to achieve as a writer. John eventually internalized those gifts himself, and George provided a close-at-hand model for how that could happen."[1]


Green was John Mellencamp's long-time writing partner. He was a classmate and childhood friend of Mellencamp's from Seymour, Indiana.[2] In 1985, Green's wife appeared in the video for Mellencamp's Top 10 hit "Lonely Ol' Night".[2] In addition to writing with Mellencamp, Green also wrote songs recorded by Barbra Streisand, Level 42, Hall & Oates, Jude Cole, Vanessa Williams, Percy Sledge, Gary Morris, and The Oak Ridge Boys among others.[1] Green died on August 28, 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the age of 59 after suffering from a rapid-forming small cell lung cancer.[1]


Green's songwriting credits with Mellencamp include:

  • "Dream Killing Town" and "Sad Lady" from Chestnut Street Incident (1976)[3]
  • "Hurts So Good" (#2 Billboard hit)[4] and "Thundering Hearts" from American Fool (1982)[5]
  • "Crumblin' Down" (#9 Billboard hit)[4] and "Warmer Place to Sleep" from Uh-Huh (1983)[6]
  • "Rain on the Scarecrow" (#21 Billboard hit)[4] and "Minutes to Memories" from Scarecrow (1985)[7]
  • "Empty Hands" from The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)[8]
  • "Human Wheels" from Human Wheels (1993)
  • "Another Sunny Day 12/25", "The Big Jack" and "The Breakout" from Dance Naked (1994)
  • "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)" (#14 Billboard hit),[4] "This May Not Be The End Of The World" and "Circling Around The Moon" from Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996)[9]
  • "Your Life Is Now", "Positively Crazy", "It All Comes True", "Where The World Began" and "Break Me Off Some" from John Mellencamp (1998)

Green's songwriting credits with Carla Olson include:

  • "The Grand Blvd." recorded by Percy Sledge on his 1994 album Blue Night.
  • "Secret Graves" which Carla included on her 1988 self-titled album aka Sweden USA.


  1. ^ a b c Leonard, Mike (August 30, 2011). "Songwriter George Green dies at age 59". Bloomington Herald-Times. Bloomington, Indiana. Archived from the original on August 30, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Heather (November 1, 2007). Born In A Small Town. Omnibus Press. pp. 147, 12, 77. ISBN 978-0-8256-7336-8.
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "John Cougar: Chestnut Street Incident". AllMusic. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th Edition). Billboard Books. pp. 418–419. ISBN 0-8230-7499-4.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "John Cougar: American Fool". AllMusic. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "John Mellencamp: Uh-Huh". AllMusic. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "John Mellencamp: Scarecrow". AllMusic. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "John Mellencamp: The Lonesome Jubilee". AllMusic. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "John Mellencamp: Mr. Happy Go Lucky". AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2011.