(The Only - Authorized Biography)
Record Producer - Songwriter - Entertainer - Business Man
As a native of Memphis, William Bell was dominant in the city's
rise to prominence as an international city of music in the 60's. He was one
of the pioneers of the Stax-Volt empire. His first release came in 1961, and
was the self-penned hit record: "You Don't Miss Your Water". Other
Classics are: "Any Other Way", "Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday",
"Never Like This Before", "A Tribute To A King" (Bell's
personal tribute to another Stax Legend, Otis Redding), "I Forgot To Be
Your Lover" & "Born Under A Bad Sign" and his internationally
acclaimed duet with Judy Clay "Private Number."
Mercury Records - His release "Tryin' To Love Two"
spent more than six month on the R&B charts in 1977 and sold well over two
million copies. Wilbe Records - William Bell's own record Label released "Passion"
in 1987 that produced three chart singles in the US and was a major hit in England.
"I Don't Want To Wake Up Feeling Guilty" a duet with Janice Bulluck
stayed on the American charts for close to nine month.
Headline News - was voted one of the top ten records in 1987
by readers of the Blues & Soul Magazine in the UK. A new William Bell with
brand new self-penned songs was just released. Every year William Bell finds
the time to tour Europe. He remains faithful to his fans in England - Belgium
- Switzerland - Austria, France & Italy. In 1995 he was one of the stars
at the famous Montreaux Jazz Festival. In 1996 he captured the international
audience at the Atlanta Olympic Games three nights in succession.
On May 17, 1996 the Governor of the State of Georgia "Zell
Miller" honored William Bell by appointing him to the Georgia Music Hall
of Fame Authority Board. On February 27, 1997 the Rhythm & Blues Foundation
honored William Bell with their prestigious R&B Pioneer Award. On October
20, 1997 William Bell was inducted in to the "Georgia Music Hall Of Fame".
The event was televised and was presented to Mr. Bell by the Governor of the
State of Georgia "Zell Miller". William Bell is producing new artists
and is running a successful recording studio, record label and publishing company
in Atlanta, GA.
A principal architect of the Stax / Volt sound, singer / composer
William Bell remains best known for his classic "You Don't Miss Your Water,"
one of the quintessential soul records to emerge from the Memphis scene. Born
William Yarborough on July 16, 1939, he cut his teeth backing Rufus Thomas,
and in 1957 recorded his first sides as a member of the Del Rios. After joining
the Stax staff as a writer, in 1961 Bell made his solo debut with the self-penned
"You Don't Miss Your Water," an archetypal slice of country-soul and
one of the label's first big hits.
A two-year Armed Forces stint effectively derailed his career,
however, and he did not release his first full-length album, The Soul of a Bell,
until 1967, generating a Top 20 hit with the single "Everybody Loves a
Winner"; that same year, Albert King also scored with another classic Bell
composition, the oft-covered "Born Under a Bad Sign." Bell's next
solo hit, 1968's "A Tribute to a King," was a poignant farewell to
the late Otis Redding; the R&B Top Ten hit "I Forgot to Be Your Lover"
soon followed, and a series of duets with Judy Clay, most notably "Private
Number," also earned airplay.
In 1969, he relocated to Atlanta and set up his own label,
Peachtree; the hits dried up as the next decade opened, but in 1977 Bell capped
a major comeback with "Trying to Love Two," which topped the R&B
charts. In 1985, he founded another label, Wilbe, and issued "Passion",
which found its most receptive audiences in the U.K. (although "I Don't
Want to Wake Up Feeling Guilty," a duet with Janice Bullock, was a minor
U.S. hit). In addition to subsequent LPs, including 1989's "On a Roll"
and 1992's "Bedtime Stories", in 1987 Bell was inducted into the Georgia
Music Hall of Fame, that same year receiving the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's
R&B Pioneer Award.
After 1992, Bell took a lengthy hiatus from the recording studio,
though he still performed regularly. In 2000, he released an album of all-new
material on Wilbe entitled "A Portrait Is Forever" and followed it
six years later with "New Lease on Life". In between he was honored
with the 2003 W.C. Handy Heritage Award. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
William Bell's discography:
2006 New Lease on Life
2002 Soul of a Bell [Bonus Tracks]
2000 A Portrait Is Forever
1992 Bedtime Stories
1992 A Little Something Extra
1989 On a Roll
1977 It's Time You Took Another Listen
1977 Comin' Back for More
1973 Phases of Reality
1969 Bound to Happen
1967 The Soul of a Bell
and many other box sets / comilations / ...
More info available here: