Category Archives: Memphis

From the Ponderosa Stomp Oral History Project: William Bell

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

Scene Report: Eddie Bond at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival

On Saturday night, exactly 54 years after he headlined the St. Francis County Fair in Forrest City, Arkansas, alongside Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Floyd Cramer, Sun rockabilly Eddie Bond took the stage at the Center for Southern Folklore‘s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. At the fifth annual Ponderosa Stomp, Bond was backed by Deke … Continue reading Scene Report: Eddie Bond at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival

Al Bell, We Salute You!

From the New York Times: Al Bell: Out of Exile, Back in Soulsville By Deborah Sontag As the peacock-blue Cadillac with the gold trim and fur lining spun on a giant turntable in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music here, Al Bell, the final owner of the late, great record label, chuckled. Decades before … Continue reading Al Bell, We Salute You!

R.I.P. Billy Lee Riley – Benefit On August 30

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 30th, at the Silver Moon Club in Newport, Ark., Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, W.S. Holland, Smoochy Smith, former Little Green Men drummer J.M. Van Eaton and Carl Mann will join forces to celebrate the life of fellow Sun Records alumnus Billy Lee Riley, who died at the age … Continue reading R.I.P. Billy Lee Riley – Benefit On August 30