Al Bell gave a great lecture yesterday at the Darragh Center as part of the Butler Center's "Legacies and Lunch" program. Bell spent much of lecture reading from notes prepared, but he delivered his message with a preacher's fervor, first talking about the musical heritage of Arkansas and then moving into a history of his time at Stax. Sadly, he didn't get into anything about the proposal Gov. Rockefeller was said to have floated to Bell and Stax during the label's late financial woes about moving Stax to Arkansas, nor did he talk much about current projects, but he's promised to sit down with me soon.
Above, in our video player, are what I thought were the three most interesting parts of his lecture: the early sales practices he's instituted at Stax, his belief in the album versus the single (and his role in "Hot Buttered Soul") and his role in Wattstax.