1070 WDIA Memphis To Launch “Al Bell Presents American Soul Music” Friday, December 9
Published on 12/07/2011
MEMPHIS, TN – December 1, 2011: The heart of American Soul Music is coming to Memphis radio!
Photo (C) The New York Times
WDIA 1070 – The Heart and Soul of Memphis – has announced it will broadcast “Al Bell Presents American Soul Music,” a weekly three-hour entertainment program, on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 pm. Listeners around the world can tune in to a live streaming version of the show at www.mywdia.com.
Hosted by Soul Music and Entertainment icon Al Bell, “Al Bell Presents American Soul Music” is designed to make listeners of all ages relax, de-stress, get down, and feel good every Friday night with the best classic soul music in the U.S. And no one knows Soul Music better than the show’s host, former Stax Records president and 2011 Grammy award recipient Al Bell, who for years recorded and produced some of the top artists in the world of soul music. Bell's show made its debut on HeartBeat 106.7 KHLR in Arkansas on November 25, 2011.
“Back before my days at Stax Records I was a DJ here in Memphis, and I’m thrilled to be able to broadcast this program on WDIA every Friday night,” Mr. Bell said. “Music is the great emotional trigger of the human soul. Nothing elicits a memory, nothing inspires a mood, and nothing moves people to action as thoroughly as does a great song. The purpose of this show is to cause the listener to ‘feel good’ emotionally and psychologically, and what I want to do is reach and entertain every person within the listening area of the station and make them ‘feel good.’”
“I’m looking forward to ‘Al Bell Presents’ being included in the WDIA programming schedule,” commented Bobby O’Jay, the station’s program director and morning personality for the last 28 years. “Al’s incredible knowledge of the music and his strong presentation will be fun to listen to, and I know WDIA listeners will enjoy it.”
Considered a recording industry legend, Mr. Bell was chairman and owner of Memphis-based Stax Records, where he produced such superstars as Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Sam and Dave, Booker T and the MG’s, The Bar Kays, Otis Redding, The Emotions, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Billy Eckstine, Albert King, The Dramatics, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and a host of other artists.
Following his tenure at Stax, Mr. Bell was named president of Motown Records Group and subsequently, through his company Bellmark Records, “discovered” the group Tag Team (“Whoomp! There It Is”) and gave Prince his biggest hit with the single, “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.” Mr. Bell also worked with Melvyn Van Peebles on the release of the revolutionary film Sweetback, and collaborated again with MGM Studios on the release of the multi-million-seller and Oscar winning film Shaft. He added to his roster of box office hits with the landmark film Wattstax, The Living Word.
Earlier this year Mr. Bell was recognized by the Recording Academy, which honored him with its 2011 Grammy Trustee Award, presented to individuals who have made a lifetime of contributions to the recording industry. Mr. Bell currently serves as chairman and CEO of Al Bell Presents, and as Chairman of the Memphis Music Foundation.
About 1070 WDIA Memphis
Playing an Urban-oriented music format, WDIA is a 50,000-watt AM station owned by Clear Channel Communications and licensed to the city of Memphis, TN. Known as the “heart and soul of Memphis,” 1070 WDIA is widely recognized as the first radio station in America to be programmed entirely by African-Americans. In that capacity, it entertained, informed, and educated a large segment of the population that was, until the late 1940s, largely unrecognized. WDIA’s monumental achievement has made it an American broadcast institution.