William Bell performs at the Ponderosa Stomp at Lincoln Center\'s Midsummer Night Swing, 7/16/09.
Even after William Bell brought the Stax label one of its first hits, 1961’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water” – a song that would largely set the tone for the label’s signature Southern soul sound – he still remained on the fence about whether or not to ditch the recording business and go to medical school. At least, that’s what he told me during our live interview this past August at the Cutting Edge Music Business Conference.
Luckily, he didn’t (though our own Dr. Ike proves that medicine and rock n’roll aren’t mutually exclusive.) We’ve posted the audio from that interview below so you can hear one of the Stomp’s most popular returning performers discuss the rise and fall of Stax, the intense creative and political climate of Memphis in the 60’s, and how he happened to come to New Orleans to get a new sound.
Listen to the hour-long interview here:
William Bell Oral History Interview, 8/30/09