William Bell was born in 1939 and celebrated his 80th birthday in July of this year.
Bell was an early signing at Stax and put out his first single all the way back in 1961 — beating the Beatles to their first release. Bell kept recording, writing and performing through the years but without any major releases in the past 30 years or so, until in 2016— straight out of left field— he released the grammy-winning, ‘This is where I live’ .
This album has been a lovely find. It sounds incredible: clear, dynamic and spacious. The songs are catchy and heartfelt; and Bell’s voice is gorgeously expressive and soulful.
Take a listen to the studio version first to see what I mean about the production. Then, if you like, take a listen to the live version— if only to see how young and vibrant the guy is: