Born in Memphis in 1939, singer William Bell began his music career as a member of the Del-Rios in the late 50s. In 1961 he joined the fledgling Stax record company as a staff writer, but actually ended up giving them one of their first regional hits with his own rendition of his self-penned "You Don't Miss Your Water", a song which endures to this day as a country-soul classic, and has been covered by numerous artists. However his subsequent singles did not chart, and his music career was interrupted by a brief spell in the armed forces. When he returned in 1966, he managed to get his first R&B hit with "Share What You Got", which reached #27. It was followed by two more R&B hits - "Never Like This Before" (#29), and the brilliant "Everybody Loves A Winner" (#18).
In 1967 his debut album was finally released - The Soul Of A Bell featured most of his hits (but strangely omitted "Share What You Got") with some other great songs, including versions of "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and "Do Right Woman". It's a fine example of southern soul, with the focus mostly on the ballads.
He was never one of Stax's biggest hit-makers or most distinctive singers, but they kept him on board throughout the 60s. He wrote many classic songs for them throughout this period, often in partnership with Booker T. Jones, such as on Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign".
|> Bound To Happen (1969)
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