As promised, September is shaping up to be one of the busiest months for Memphis music in ages, which means we have plenty of news to catch you up on! Here are some of the highlights from the past 7 days, which includes plenty of award shows…
Memphis Music Hall of Fame Hosts 10th Annual Induction Ceremony
After a two year hiatus, the MMHOF returned to the Cannon Center for their 10th Induction Ceremony honoring Priscilla Presley, Booker T. Jones, Mavis Staples, Ronnie Milsap, Jim Gaines, Fred Ford, J.M. Van Eaton, and Billy Lee Riley. In addition to the inductees themselves, the night was also filled with a plethora of special guests, most notably Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. For a complete overview of the show, check out this article in the Commercial Appeal!
Memphis’ Al Bell Wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Americana Awards
Speaking of awards, former Stax Records executive Al Bell took home a lifetime achievement award this week at the Americana Awards in Nashville. The music executive, record promoter and label owner helped turn Stax Records into a powerhouse, pushing the careers of artists like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes and the Staple Sisters. He wrote the hit “I’ll Take You There,” for the Staple Sisters and later went to work at Motown Records with Berry Gordy. “I feel the spirit,” Bell told the crowd. “I don’t have the words in my grasp to express how I feel right now and how Americana music is making me feel.”
“American Songwriter” Profiles Sacred Soul Singer Elizabeth King
78-year-old Memphis singer Elizabeth King was the subject of a profile in “American Songwriter” this week, where she runs down her life, career, and the making of her newest album “I Got A Love.” “There were a lot of songs to choose from, [and] we tried a good bit of songs from D-Vine and a bunch of songs I used to sing in the church and with my family and The Gospel Souls,” King tells American Songwriter. “And then we had Jimbo Mathus write an original for the album which was just beautiful.” You can read the full piece here.