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'This Is Where I Live': Soul singer William Bell returns to his roots

Produced by John Leventhal,
Produced by John Leventhal, "This Is Where I Live" is Bell's first record on Stax since 1974.
David McClister
Produced by John Leventhal,
William Bell has been an active musician and producer since 1957.
Ginette Callaway

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Back in the 1960s, there were two major producers of soul music: Berry Gordy’s Motown assembly line in Detroit; and the grittier sounds that came out of Stax Records in Memphis. Stax built its sound around its house band, Booker T & the MGs, and a stable of songwriters that included Isaac Hayes.

And then, there was singer/songwriter William Bell: 

The original Stax Records, we were like a family there. For teenage kids, it was like going to university for us because we learned our craft and how to interpret songs. It was like a family.

Bell never reached the fame of label mate Otis Redding, but he wrote and recorded some classic songs, including “You Don’t Miss Your Water.”

Now 77-years-old, Bell recently released a new album on the revived Stax label. It’s called “This Is Where I Live,” and it re-captures that classic Memphis soul sound.


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