Archie Bell


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Musician, Vocalist

Archie Bell, a native of Houston, Texas, grew up listening to his mother sing in the Baptist church. Out of her seven sons she singled out Archie and suggested that he should try to be a singer. After seeing Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke in concert together, Archie decided that would be his path as well. He formed Archie Bell and The Drells in junior high and they were heavily influenced by the show band style of the Kashmere High School Stage Band under the direction of the legendary Conrad Johnson. In his NAMM interview, Archie discussed the history of his number one hit "Tighten Up," his life in show business, and the official definition of what a "Drell" is. Archie speaks very fondly of his friend, Roy Head, and what it was like performing all over the country while still in the US Army.