Memphis Music Foundation Announces Music Icon Al Bell as Chairman

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Music Icon Al Bell was announced as the new Chairman for the Memphis based economic development non-profit organization, The Memphis Music Foundation. Under Bell's direction, the Foundation will continue to provide education, strategic planning and promotional opportunities to the Memphis music industry. Bell is known for his work at Stax and Motown Records and through the careers of artists like Richard Pryor, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding and Prince.

Al Bell

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

The Memphis Music Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping Memphis music find business success, elected music icon Al Bell as its new chairman today. Under Bell's direction, the Foundation will continue to provide education, strategic planning and promotional opportunities to the Memphis music industry.

"My tenure at the Memphis Music Foundation will be focused on shining a bright light on Memphis so the international community understands the assets we have here," stated Al Bell. "I want to focus on economic development and economic empowerment. I also hope to help demystify the music industry."

Al Bell is best known as one of the key figures behind and a co-owner of Stax Records during the latter half of the label's nineteen-year existence. When he joined the Stax team, the label was more than $90,000 in the hole, Al built it up to a multi-million dollar company and rebuilt the label's catalog. A respected record producer, songwriter, and record executive, Bell has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in music.

The Memphis Music Foundation currently operates the Memphis Music Resource Center, the only free facility for musicians and music related fields to learn about the business of music while actively participating in the industry. The center celebrated its first anniversary last month boasting membership of over 2000. From touring grants to artist mentoring, Memphis Music Foundation programs are designed to provide career altering experiences for musicians. Other programs offer professional development to the careers that support musicians.

About Al Bell
Former chairman and owner of Stax Records and former president of Motown Records, Al Bell has a proven, unique ear in the world of Soul music. No individual is better positioned to understand how to select the "right" songs that appeal to the Soul music customer, and no one is better equipped than Mr. Bell to market, promote, and advertise them. The former owner and chairman of Stax Records, Mr. Bell is largely responsible for shaping the careers of such artists as Booker T and the MG's, Otis Redding, William Bell, The Staple Singers, Sam and Dave, Little Milton, Albert King, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, The Bar-Kays, The Dramatics, and Richard Pryor. He was instrumental in establishing the career of Isaac Hayes, and he worked closely with Hayes on his first hit album, "Hot Buttered Soul" and the follow-up "Black Moses." Mr. Bell arranged for the production of the soundtrack for the film "Shaft," which earned Isaac Hayes an Academy Award, and subsequently staged the famous Wattstax concert in Los Angeles and produced the award-winning film "Wattstax: The Living Word." He also was responsible for the success of Tag Team's "Whoomp! There It Is," which sold five million singles in the U. S. alone and gave Prince's "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," his biggest-selling single ever. An accomplished songwriter, Mr. Bell has penned over 200 songs, including "I'll Take You There," "Hard To Handle," and "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquidaly(m)nistic,"

About the Memphis Music Foundation
The Memphis Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to working with the community to cultivate a viable economic engine for Memphis by providing musicians and the music industry with resources and opportunities for growth and independence. The Foundation exists to educate the music community about music business systems and trends, help artists develop plans for future business growth, and create dynamic marketing and promotional opportunities for Memphis music. The Foundation's anchor program, the Memphis Music Resource Center is an interactive, education and information center that offers a devoted staff, tools, and educational programs to help area musicians and music professionals. The Foundation is funded, in part, by public and private funds provided through the Economic Development (MemphisED) Plan, designed to ensure economic growth and prosperity in Memphis and Shelby County.Visit for more information.


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Pat Mitchell Worley
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