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William Bell: Collectors Edition "Greatest Hits"

William Bell

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Album Review

A woefully underappreciated soul singer, William Bell, often in collaboration with Booker T. Jones (of MG's fame), wrote some stone cold country-soul classics, including "You Don't Miss Your Water," a hit for Bell in 1961, and "Born Under a Bad Sign," which became the theme song for blues giant Albert King after his version was released in 1967. As a staff writer for Stax Records, Bell wasn't afraid to mix pure country elements into the deep soul stew, as "You Don't Miss Your Water" shows, and his 1967 hit "Everybody Loves a Winner" (two versions are included here) is as much Merle Haggard as it is Otis Redding. "Eloise (Hang On in There)," another Bell/Jones collaboration, sounds like a great, lost Four Tops song, and is one of the many highlights on this anthology. Fans of the legendary Stax sound will love this collection, and as a single-disc package, it makes for a solid introduction to this fine singer and writer.

Biography

Born: 16 July 1939 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A principal architect of the Stax/Volt sound, singer/composer William Bell remains best known for his classic "You Don't Miss Your Water," one of the quintessential soul records to emerge from the Memphis scene. Born William Yarborough on July 16, 1939, he cut his teeth backing Rufus Thomas, and in 1957 recorded his first sides as a member of the Del Rios. After joining the Stax staff as a writer, in 1961 Bell made his solo debut with the self-penned "You Don't Miss Your Water," an archetypal slice...
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