William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)

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"I Forgot To Be Your Lover"

William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)

Composed by William Bell & Booker T. Jones




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For the latest updates on William Bell, scroll down to the "Tidbits" section. To automatically link to William Bell's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Bell, William" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

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September 4, 2017: Re-Posted from Daddy B. Nice's Corner

September 4, 2017:

William Bell & Bobby Rush Take Southern Soul North

It had to happen sooner or later...And at last, it has. Buoyed by two of its stars "crossing over" and winning Grammies last year (Bobby Rush in "traditional blues," William Bell in "americana"), southern soul music heads north of the Mason-Dixon line in the most ambitious attempt yet to take the favored music of the Deep South beyond its traditional borders.

It may be watered down, it may be "black" music tailored for "white" audiences, it may be circumscribed to appeal to a demographic with no knowledge of or appreciation for the last quarter-century of contemporary southern soul music and southern blues. But it's the most prominent step yet in the chitlin' circuit's ongoing bid to "break out" into the national market in a manner reminiscent of the birth and glory days of rock and roll.

The Take Me To The River National Concert Tour is an offshoot of the remarkable "Take Me To River" documentary featured here in 2014-15 and starring Bell, the late Otis Clay, Snoop Dogg and others.

Listen to William Bell featuring Snoop Dog singing "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" on YouTube.

Listen to Otis Clay featuring Lil' P-Nut singing "Trying To Live My Life Without You" on YouTube.

Will these concerts approximate the excitement and X-rated ribaldry of the Dirty South? Will Bobby Rush bring his twerking dancers, lean over, hunch close and sniff that nookie thang? That's doubtful. New audiences will probably be unnecessarily polite, respectful, sedentary and--at times--perhaps a little lost. But they should also be transported and inspired.

Day-after-day intensive and months long, the tour represents a powerful surge of southern culture and marginalized musicians--in both Bell's and Rush's cases, the majority of their careers--into the country's musical heartland, and the first indication for many "national types" that rhythm and blues still produces roses amidst the thorns of hiphop.

The tour's headliners are Rush, Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, Don Bryant, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy, The Hi Rhythm Section and The Stax Academy Alumni. The tour "preps" in the comfort of the Delta before heading to college towns and other "hip" cities across the North and West, including assorted southern hubs. The only region of the country left out is the Northeast.

Here's the complete Take Me To The River tour itinerary:

Sep 26 Cleveland, MS
Sep 28 Lafayette, LA
Sep 29 Baton Rouge, LA
Sep 30 Houston, TX
Oct 01 Dallas, TX
Oct 03 Midland, TX
Oct 05 Tucson, AZ
Oct 06 Mesa, AZ
Oct 07 Solana Beach (San Diego), CA
Oct 08 Malibu (Los Angeles), CA
Oct 11 San Francisco, CA
Oct 12 Folsom, CA
Oct 13 Napa, CA
Oct 18 Portland, OR
Oct 20 Bremerton, WA
Oct 21 Kirkland, WA
Oct 22 Tacoma, WA
Oct 25 Billings, MT
Oct 26 Fort Collins, CO
Oct 27 Lone Tree (Denver), CO
Oct 28 Salina, KS
Oct 31 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 01 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 03 Kansas City, MO
Nov 05 Glen Ellyn, IL
Nov 07 Wausau, WI
Nov 08 Appleton, WI
Nov 09 Rochester, MN
Nov 10 Milwaukee, WI
Nov 12 Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 13 Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 14 Chicago, IL
Jan 25, 2018 Durham, NC
Jan 26, 2018 Roanoke, VA
Jan 27, 2018 Irmo, SC
Jan 29, 2018 Gainesville, FL
Jan 30, 2018 Jacksonville, FL
Feb 02, 2018 Tampa, FL
Feb 03, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL

The itinerary gives fans outside the southern soul concert circuit the opportunity to see two of the music's greatest living artists, Bobby Rush and William Bell.

Your Daddy B. Nice keeps wondering what that show in Malibu will be like. Full of movie stars with sand in their toes from just walking in from the restricted beach? More power to southern soul music.

And hats off(!) and thank you, Al Green.

--Daddy B Nice

Listen to Al Green singing "Take Me To The River" on YouTube.

Listen to Al Green onstage, taking it to the national audience accompanied by B.B. King, Lenny Kravitz, Cheryl Crow and others singing "Take Me To The River" on YouTube.

Listen to Jeff Floyd featuring William Bell singing "Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good Woman Tonight" on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Bobby Rush.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to William Bell.

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SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

February 26, 2017:

Grammy Award Winner!: Best Americana Album: THIS IS WHERE I LIVE (Stax)

Buy William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE album at Amazon.

View William Bell's Grammy Award Show performance singing "Born Under A Bad Sign" with Gary Clark Jr. on YouTube.

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------JANUARY 2017-------

2. "Born Under A Bad Sign"------William Bell

Where there is sun, there is shade. Maintaining the intimate acoustic sound of "The Three Of Me" and "This Is Where I Live," William Bell explores the dark classic by Albert King. Bell wrote it, by the way, during the Summer of Love, 1967.

Listen to William Bell singing "Born Under A Bad Sign" on YouTube.


Daddy B. Nice's Best Southern Soul Song By Longtime Veteran: "The Three Of Me" by William Bell

Listen to William Bell singing "The Three Of Me" on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2016 Southern Soul Awards.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

December 7, 2016:

2017 Grammy Award Nominee!




Congratulations to William Bell! Two 2017 Grammy Award Nominations!

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
"The Three Of Me" — William Bell

Best Americana Album:
This Is Where I Live — William Bell



SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

June 1, 2016:

New Album Alert! New NPR Interview!



Listen to William Bell singing "The Three Of Me" from his new album, THIS IS WHERE I LIVE.

Daddy B. Nice notes: I heard this excellent interview with William Bell by Scott Simon by chance last Saturday on my local NPR affiliate. NPR routinely ignores southern soul music, and oh, how mighty-fine it sounded to hear William singing the stanza of "The Three Of Me" with which the audio interview begins. Oh, and not to forget: the album's out on Stax, not Wilbe.

Read the Scott Simon NPR Interview with William Bell.

Sample/Buy William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE CD at Soul Blues Music.

Listen to William Bell singing "This Is Where I Live" (from the new album) on YouTube.

Sample/Buy William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE CD at iTunes.

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SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
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--Daddy B. Nice


About William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)

William Henry Yarborough, aka legendary Stax balladeer William Bell, was born July 16, 1939. Bell (who took the name from his grandmother) grew up in a gospel-singing family in Memphis, where he attended high school (Booker T. Washington High) with future Stax peers Rufus Thomas, Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, Homer Banks, J. Blackfoot and David Porter.

While still a teen Bell won a talent contest that eventually led to a five-year stint with area bandleader Phineas Newborn, playing the big-band swing standards of the day. He also started his own band, The Del Rios, specializing in R&B and doowop, and began cutting singles.

Memphis producer Chips Moman encouraged Bell to record as a solo vocalist, eventually leading to Bell's first important single and regional hit, "You Don't Miss Your Water" (1961) on the Satellite label, a precursor to Stax.

Stax released some singles in the early sixties but the momentum was broken when Bell was drafted and left for the military. Afterwards, Bell continued to record for Stax in the company of Steve Cropper, Booker T., Isaac Hayes, Homer Banks and others, penning such songs as "Everybody Loves A Winner" and "Every Day Will Be A Holiday," and throughout the late sixties Bell was an integral part of the popular Stax tours, along with Otis Redding, Rufus and Carla Thomas and others.

Bell's first full-length album, The Soul Of A Bell (Stax, 1967) compiled his most popular singles since 61's "You Don't Miss Your Water." Bell's close friend Otis Redding died in a plane crash the same year.

In 1968 Bell took a break from recording duets with Judy Clay and Mavis Staples to release the song that would become synonymous with his name, "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" (Stax), which reached #10 on Billboard's R&B and #45 on Billboard's Pop charts.

Bound To Happen, his second solo LP, arrived in 1969. "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" was included on Bell's third solo disc, Wow (Stax, 1971).

With Stax's glory years in the rear-view mirror, Bell moved to Atlanta for good in 1973. (His writing and performing mate Booker T. Jones had already moved to California.) Bell recorded a couple of more albums for the label, however, including the well-received song, "Lovin' On Borrowed Time."

In Atlanta Bell recorded for Peachtree, which was distributed by Mercury. Bell was moving away from performance towards production at the time, but as with so many other ironic twists in his career, "Tryin' To Love Two," written with Paul Mitchell, became Bell's first chart-topping hit (#1 Soul, #10 Pop). The album containing the single, Coming Back For More, became Bell's best-selling album.

The album led to a falling-out with Mercury, however, and Bell didn't record for more than five years. One album on the short-lived Atlanta-based Kat label preceded Bell's formation of his own label, Wilbe Records, which released the CD "Passion" in 1985.

In the early nineties Bell began collaborating with Reginald "Wizard" Jones on singles and albums, and in 1994 Bell's first greatest-hits collection appeared on the joint Wilbe/Ichiban label: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2.

The late 90's were inconsequential, but in 2003 William Bell was honored by the Blues Foundation with the W.C. Handy Heritage Award. The same year, he recorded an impressive song, "Have I Told You Lately (That I Love You)," for a tribute album to singer/songwriter Van Morrison by American R&B artists, Vanthology, produced by Jon Tiven.

The recognition seemed to re-energize Bell, culminating in the 2006 solo album, New Lease On Life, which made Bell relevant to a new generation. The title track was a memorable hit across the chitlin' circuit.

His duet with fellow Wilbe label-mate Jeff Floyd, "Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good Woman Tonight," capitalized on his new-found popularity with the 21st-century southern soul audience, and in 2007, Bell wowed the crowd at the Stax 50th Anniversary Reunion show, going on to perform at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin and the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans that year, followed by an extensive tour of Europe and a July 2009 appearance at Lincoln Center, resulting in the album Live In NYC.

Then, in 2014, Bell collaborated with Snoop Dogg on a triumphant re-tooling of his signature tune, "I Forgot To Be Your Lover, the first-released single from the soundtrack of the movie, "Take Me To The River."

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Discography

The Soul of a Bell (Stax 1967)

Duets (Stax 1968)

Bound to Happen (Stax 1969)

Wow (Stax 1971)

Phases Of Reality (Stax 1973)

Relating (Stax 1974)

Coming Back For More (Mercury, 1977)

It's Time You Took Another Listen (Mercury 1977)

Survivor (Kat 1983)

Do Right Man (Charly 1984)

Passion (Ichiban 1986)

The Best Of William Bell (Stax 1988)

On A Roll (Ichiban 1989)

Bedtime Stories (Wilbe 1992)

A Little Something Extra (Stax 1992)

Greatest Hits Volume 1 (Wilbe/Ichiban 1994)

Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Wilbe/Ichiban 1995)

A Portrait Is Forever (Wilbe 2000)

Greatest Hits Collector's Edition (Wilbe 2002)

New Lease On Life (Wilbe 2006)

The Very Best Of William Bell (Stax 2007)

Live In New York City (Wilbe 2009)

Bound To Happen (Wow 2012)

This Is Where I Live (Stax 2016)



Tidbits

1.

October 26, 2014: From Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Jaheim



The story of Jaheim's "Put That Woman First" begins in the glory days of Stax Records (the 60's and early 70's) with a soul musician named William Bell. In his casual, authoritative and generous book, The Heart Of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (New American Library, 1989), Dave Marsh describes Bell this way:

"Pipesmoking and relatively intellectual, William Bell was Memphis soul's ultimate journeyman, but what's out of the ordinary is his acceptance of that second-rank status. While it wouldn't be fair to say that he courted obscurity, that's only because the evidence is too sketchy. Bell made 'You Don't Miss Your Water' at producer Chips Moman's insistence; he'd already found a satisfactory niche as featured vocalist with Phineas Newborn's orchestra, the area's toniest show band. Rather than seeking the main chance, he was content to sing with Newborn."

Assessing his music, Marsh remarks again and again (four of William Bell's songs are featured in the book) on his "comparative impassivity," his "contentment with the status quo," his "diffidence" and his "purposeful lack of histrionics."

Ironically, with minor revisions the observations could accurately describe almost any of today's older-generation Southern Soul musicians. But what Marsh describes as "passivity," your Daddy B. Nice (with the benefit of hindsight) would characterize as a refreshing independence and refusal to bend to the artistic "straightjacket" of the mainline record industry and all the hype that accompanies it.

(D.B.N. footnote: And in light of two luminous Southern Soul hits in the mid 00's, "Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good Woman Tonight"--a duet with Jeff Floyd--and "New Lease On Life," both on his own record label (Wilbe), Bell has had the last laugh.)

William Bell collaborated with Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. and the MG's) on many soul tunes, and one of them, Bell's "I Forgot To Be Your Lover," rose to #45 on "Billboard" in 1969. The song had a gorgeous and winsome melody made even sweeter by a violin-heavy arrangement.

"Have I taken the time
To share with you
All the burdens
That love will bear?

Have I done
Those little simple things
To show you
Just how much I care?

Oh, I forgot to be your lover.
And I'm sorry, so sorry."

Enter, more than a quarter of a century later, young artist Jaheim Hoagland, who--like R. Kelly--comes to Southern Soul by way of hiphop and "urban" R&B, and who--again like Kelly--has gone to the well of sixties' R&B to connect with soul traditionalists.

Jaheim Hoagland was not the first artist to access William Bell's little-known standard for inspiration. Among others, Johnnie Taylor had covered it in 1988, Robert "The Duke" Tillman in 1992, and Chuck Strong in 1996...."

To read more, go to Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Jaheim.

Listen to Jaheim singing "Put That Woman First" (based on William Bell's "I Forgot To Be Your Lover") on YouTube.



2.

October 25, 2014: WILLIAM BELL ON YOUTUBE


Listen to William Bell singing "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "You Don't Miss Your Water" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell & Jeff Floyd singing "Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good Woman Tonight" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "New Lease On Life" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Nobody But You" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Tryin' To Love Two" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Nothing Takes The Place Of You" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "You Don't Miss Your Water" Live Onstage at The White House on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Everybody Loves A Winner" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "A Tribue To A King (Otis Redding)" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Nothing Takes The Place Of You" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "I'll Be Home" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Somebody's Gonna Get Hurt" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "I Know I Got A Sure Thing" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Nothing Takes The Place Of You" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Nothing Takes The Place Of You" on YouTube.

Listen to William Bell singing "Loving On Borrowed Time" on YouTube.

3.




Listen to William Bell featuring Snoop Dogg singing "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" on YouTube. (Link updated 2/20/16)

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November 8, 2014: Postscript

Just so readers don't misconstrue my critical comments about Snoop below.... On the contrary, Snoop is the #1 artist on your Daddy B. Nice's chart The Soulful Side Of Rap & Hiphop: Daddy B. Nice's Top Twenty.

And one last thought... This isn't the first time William Bell has attracted hiphop luminaries. See the Jaheim "Put This Woman First" version of "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" story below. (Scroll down to Tidbits #1.)

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November 1, 2014:

In the rap song “It’s About The Money,” Too Short and Puff Daddy (with Faith Evans background-singing) are bragging about all the money they make, when Too Short slides in with:

“I’m charging fifty
For sixteen bars now,
And if you want a whole song
It’s a hundred thou.”

Overblown as those figures may have been even then, your Daddy B. Nice was reminded of the financial chasm that separates contemporary hiphop and southern soul music while listening (and watching the video) to the new version of William Bell’s classic “I Forgot To Be Your Lover,” which could easily be (and who knows, may indeed become) #1 on the contemporary southern soul charts.

Gathering his (seemingly) hastily-scribbled lines, Snoop says,

“I filled me out a mean sixteen.
It don’t take that long, do it?”

And the other musicians laugh.

I have no idea what arrangement Snoop had with William or the “Take Me To The River” producers. All your Daddy B. Nice knows is that the song is all about William Bell.

Snoop is there to lend it cachet. Musically his contribution is nil. And yet, by his presence “I Forgot To Be Your Lover” takes on a fresh, contemporary sound.

Incidentally, check out the bespectacled, teenage-looking, white boy on lead guitar negotiating licks almost as pristine as the original.

Watch the William Bell/Snoop Dogg version of “I Forgot To Be Your Lover.”



Honorary "B" Side

"You Don't Miss Your Water"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Forgot To Be Your Lover by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
I Forgot To Be Your Lover


CD: The Very Best of William Bell
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Very Best of William Bell


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Don't Miss Your Water by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
You Don't Miss Your Water


CD: The Very Best of William Bell
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Very Best of William Bell


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday


CD: The Very Best of William Bell
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Very Best of William Bell


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Lovin' On Borrowed Time by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Lovin' On Borrowed Time


CD: The Very Best of William Bell
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Very Best of William Bell


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy New Lease On Life by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
New Lease On Life


CD: New Lease On Life
Label: Wilbe

Sample or Buy
New Lease On Life


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Nothing Takes The Place Of You by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Nothing Takes The Place Of You


CD: The Soul Of A Bell
Label: Stax/Atlantic

Sample or Buy
The Soul Of A Bell


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good... (w/ Jeff Floyd) by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good... (w/ Jeff Floyd)


CD: The Power Is Still On
Label: Wilbe

Sample or Buy
The Power Is Still On


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Am I Mister Right? by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Am I Mister Right?


CD: Wilbe Records Greatest Hits
Label: Wilbe

Sample or Buy
Wilbe Records Greatest Hits


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Everybody Loves A Winner by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Everybody Loves A Winner


CD: The Very Best of William Bell
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Very Best of William Bell


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Honey From The Bee (Single) by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Honey From The Bee (Single)


CD: Honey From The Bee Single
Label: Wilbe

Sample or Buy
Honey From The Bee Single


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Got A Sure Thing by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
I Got A Sure Thing


CD: Wow/Bound To Happen (Reissue)
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Wow/Bound To Happen (Reissue)


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Don't Miss Your Water (Live) by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
You Don't Miss Your Water (Live)


CD: Live In NYC
Label: Wilbe

Sample or Buy
Live In NYC


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Tribute To A King (Otis Redding) by William Bell (Grammy Award Winner)
Tribute To A King (Otis Redding)


CD: The Very Best of William Bell
Label: Stax

Sample or Buy
Very Best of William Bell


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