Mentor and Trailblazer, William Bell Receives 2020 NEA Heritage Fellowship and National Recognition for Life’s Work

Longtime Local 148-462 member William Bell was awarded the highest honor our government can bestow upon an artist as the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship. As an early artist with Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, Bell was a game-changing contributor to what is now known as the “Memphis Sound”. Moving to Atlanta in the late ‘70s and a member of the Local since the mid-’80s, Bell continued to top the charts and hone his craft.

Heavily involved in the Stax Music Academy and the Take Me to the River Foundation, Bell has dedicated his spot in the limelight to passing on the legacy of Southern soul music to the next generation of young, aspirational artists.

Sitting down for a conversation, LEB Director John McCutcheon spoke with Bell about this honor and the importance of passing on the art of storytelling through his music.

Watch the interview:


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