Al Bell

Legendary television journalist Mike Wallace, who has a long standing gig on 60 Minutes, once referred to the thrilling experience of interviewing iconic figures by saying “I sat toe to toe with some incredible people.” Often while I am conducting an interview with one of my musical heroes and I have a sensation of goosebumps on my arms I look down to see my toes facing their toes and think how absolutely lucky I am! Such a feeling struck me on December 10, 2018 when I was just north of Little Rock, Arkansas interviewing Stax Record’s own Al Bell!

While he spoke of his influential career and the people he has known over the years, I had a real sense that this was more than just a personal thrill, it was a professional cue. I realized immediately that Mr Bell’s interview would be an important addition to the NAMM Oral History Collection. At that same moment, I was smiling from ear to ear as Mr Bell recounted personal experience with the likes of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and one of my all time favorite singers, Otis Redding.

There I was, feeling blessed and honored, sitting toe to toe with one of the most endearing and interesting people I have ever met! Click here to see a segment from Al's interview.


Dan Del Fiorentino
Music Historian