Oral History Information
Job TitleVocalist, Songwriter
William Bell began singing in doo-wop groups before signing for Stax Records in Memphis, which is where his first hit was recorded. In fact that song, "You Don't Miss Your Water" was also the first big hit for the newly formed record label that would go on to redefine soul music. William wrote several other songs as well and topped the charts many times with tunes such as "Private Number," which he recorded with the late Judy Clay. Being influenced by the many artists he heard growing up in Memphis, such as Rufus Thomas and BB King, William was proud to contribute to the 2014 documentary "Take Me to the River" about the Memphis sound.