||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
|Birth name||James Green|
September 10, 1976 |
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
|Labels||Island, Mad Decent, Gospocentric|
|Associated acts||Dru Hill|
Woody Rock (born James Green on September 10, 1976 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an African-American singer and musician. Woody is best known as a former member of multi-platinum R&B act Dru Hill, a group for which he has written and sung lead on songs such as "5 Steps", "April Showers", and "Angel". He has also recorded his own solo gospel album, Soul Music, for Kirk Franklin's Gospocentric Records. His nickname was derived from his father saying he resembled the Woody Woodpecker cartoon character.
Raised in a Christian family, as a child Woody Rock (né James Green) was reportedly only allowed to listen to gospel music. He met future Dru Hill bandmate Mark "Sisqó" Andrews in middle school, and in 1992 he, Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin, Sisqo & fellow schoolmates Bravette Fleet & Chris Thomas formed an early incarnation of the group called 14K Harmony and began performing around the Baltimore area & also appeared on Amateur Night at Showtime At The Apollo.. Originally a gospel group they eventually changed their name to Storm & then Legacy. They also switched from gospel to R&B which prompted Woody's mother to pull him out of the group. She ultimately allowed him to return to the group as a promise that he will return to his gospel roots. Member changes also took place as Bravette Fleet & Chris Thomas both left the group & Larry "Jazz" Anthony also of Baltimore and an opera student at Frederick Douglass High School joined the group after Nokio saw him singing in a school assembly.
Originally a gospel group, Dru Hill soon moved into R&B, to the chagrin of Woody's mother, Joan Green, who promptly and literally pulled the 15-year-old out of the group. Only with great reluctance did she allow Woody to rejoin the group, which was signed to Island Records in 1996.
Woody served as the group's primary songwriter during its early days, and has always been as the group's most religious member. While Dru Hill enjoyed mainstream success during the late-1990s, He felt uneasy about leaving gospel music behind. After the group had to dodge gunshots while on tour in Paris, France, he became convinced that he needed to leave the group, and quit on the set of the music video shoot for "Wild Wild West", a Will Smith song which featured Dru Hill as guest vocalists.
Dru Hill tried to continue as a trio, but decided that they needed Woody back in the group. Newly reorganized Island Def Jam Records set up the "Dru World Order" project, allowing each member to record a solo album before the next Dru Hill album was recorded in November 2000. Woody recorded his debut solo album, Soul Music, but its release was continually delayed by Def Jam/ Def Soul, because of the success of Sisqó's Unleash the Dragon album and its singles.
Woody got a release from Def Jam for his solo deal, and issued Soul Music on Kirk Franklin's Gospocentric Records in May 2002. The album was moderately successful within the gospel scene, reaching #5 on the gospel charts. Soul Music was dedicated to the memory of Woody's mother, who died of liver disease the year before, and features Woody's cover version of her favorite gospel song, "I Won't Complain".
Re-joining Dru Hill
After the release of Soul Music, Woody returned to Def Soul and re-joined Dru Hill for the Dru World Order LP. That album's "My Angel" is a dedication to his mother, and precedes "How Could You," a gospel song.
More recently, Woody contributed vocals to DJ Blaqstarr's Supastarr EP, released through DJ/producer Diplo's Mad Decent label. He along with Scola of Dru Hill & memberLarry "Jazz" Anthony;s brother Marcus Anthony formed have formed a side group called 3 Da Hardway which toured overseas before a falling out between Woody & Scola that was later resolved.
with Dru Hill
- 2002: Soul Music
- 2010: Soul Music Vol. 2:Peace, Love, & More Soul
- 2000: "My Homie" (performed by Dru Hill)
- 2002: "A New Thing" (featuring Natalie Wilson & the S.O.P. Chorale)