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William Bell - (Artist Of The Week)

William Bell - (Artist Of The Week) magazine cover

This weeks Artist of the Week Celebrates the music of William Bell.

William Bell Biography (Wikipedia)

William Bell (born William Yarbrough; July 16, 1939) is an American soul singer and songwriter. As a performer, he is probably best known for his debut single, 1961's "You Don't Miss Your Water"; 1968's top 10 hit in the UK "Private Number", a duet with Judy Clay; and his only US top 40 hit, 1976's "Tryin' to Love Two", which also hit No. 1 on the R&B chart. Upon the death of Otis Redding, Bell released the well-received memorial song "A Tribute to a King".

As a songwriter, Bell co-authored the Chuck Jackson hit "Any Other Way" (which was a cover since Bell issued it first) as a follow-up to "You Don't Miss Your Water"; Billy Idol's 1986 hit "To Be a Lover", which was first a hit for Bell under its original title "I Forgot to Be Your Lover"; and the blues classic "Born Under A Bad Sign", popularized by both Albert King and Cream.

Although he was a long-time recording artist for Stax Records, he is unrelated to the label's one-time president, Al Bell.

Read more at Wikipedia

Official Site

William Bell


William Bell Discography (Soulful Kinda Music Link)



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Another Record that has always been in my collection. Originally bought it on UK STAX, Still have it and Love it to present day.

The USA DEMO is a recent purchase in the last couple of years.

"HAPPY", delivers exactly that feeling. A GEM of a record. Written and Performed to perfection.




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My favourite William Bell track by far ,written about the sad death of his friend the legendary Otis Reading

Tribute to a King

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Been on holiday all week so "Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday" is most apt.

William has been performing live for over 50 years now & yet I can't wait to see him at Cleggy.

Back over 40 years ago, he got to spend a Christmas perfoming in Miami ....


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:hatsoff2: HI ALL Where do you start with artists like William Bell, it's only now and again that we stop and focus on all the stuff that is constantly entering a head, through out our life times, so no wonder we all suffer from some sort of depression? and we do! So I put it to you all, William bells music is of such a high standard he shames his contemporaries,

One of my 1st 45s was his ex tribute to a KING, & what a tribute, nothing has ever come close to the soul he sang for the Great Otis, (A must play to-day after reading this!) Then you have the duet, with Judy Clay, end of the night stuff, boozed up, and walking onto the dance floor and asking a decent SORT for a DANCE, every thing hinged on the answer, to be told no, meant shame, but back in them days girls wanted lifts home and not on the back of your LI150? PRIVATE NUMBER still gets played around the globe, for one reason only, it's a SOUL CLASSIC.post-13241-0-06279800-1338592071_thumb.j

Another true classic is HAPPY yet sadly most if not all of you first got a whiff of it on the rare soul scene, it goes to show, how lucky we all are to be part of the RARE SOUL SCENE, don't you think?

Off course the younger ones who forced their way through the doors of WIGAN CASINO at the age of 15 to dance to JANES FOUNTAIN 7 DAY LOVER did not have a clue that William Bell was the main man, however they knew a good soul record when they heard one.

The record that I can recommend to all of SOULSOURCE is the LP RELATING STS-5502,and sit down relax, get your breathing together "in through the nose & a gentle blow out through the mouth, get in-touch with your toes & relax to this great mans songs on the RELATING LP, ENJOY :rofl: DAVE


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One of the stand out records on my first ever trip to the Catacombs was "Happy" what a sound that just described the whole feeling of my first steps into the "Real" soul scene ,love it to bits :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Steve :thumbup:

Here you go Steve...classic...on a Japanese Stax WD :thumbsup:


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Great Northern dancer...don't see the WD around...here's a stocker. :hatsoff2:

Hi Dave 'got a promo and the stock copy 'not well known played it at a local soul night nobody knew it .

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Hi Dave 'got a promo and the stock copy 'not well known played it at a local soul night nobody knew it .

Bet it sounded great over a club PA...I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of hearing it at a club...needs more spins, people!

On reflection, I first heard it on an old Charly LP back in 1984...a couple of years later I was working for the label!


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On 27/05/2012 at 21:57, Roburt said:

The 'Boy Meets Girl' project & album was / is great (William & Mavis Staples + other Stax duets) .... if you don't know it, give it a try.

Duet with Mavis Staples

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4 hours ago, 45cellar said:



Great record that I've had and listened to for years. But where is William Bell on this recording?

Always puzzled me...am I missing something or is it just Judy Clay?

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One of the most under rated of Soulmen. William barely made a bad record, stretching from the 60's to the 2000's. The guy has been a class act for decades. Here's one from the 80's.



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