Al Bell takes you there | Rock Candy

Al Bell takes you there

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“My fourth brother was murdered in North Little Rock, Ark., just as I was getting ready to go in the studio with them. I had nothing but deaths among my brothers. Paul, the one after me, was shot down and killed in Memphis. My youngest brother, Darnell, was murdered in North Little Rock. I couldn’t come to grips with death.

After the funeral I went to the backyard of my father’s house. I couldn’t socialize with anybody. He had the relic of an old school bus under two oak trees. He used that bus to haul cotton pickers, and it was a reminder to him how he moved from an eighth-grade education to being one of the leading landscaping contractors in Arkansas. I sat on the hood of that school bus and tried to deal with all the emotions I was feeling. All of sudden — I cannot sing, I cannot dance, I cannot carry a tune in a vacuum-packed can — but I can feel and I can hear. Then out of my mouth came that bass line. Then I started singing the lyrics.

I didn’t write that. That was written through me."—Former Stax president, sometimes producer and songwriter and Blytheville native Al Bell on one of his most compositions, "I'll Take You There," made famous by the Staple Singers. [Chicago Sun-Times]

"What we have to understand, though, is that government (good government) has a significant, permanent part to play in all of our lives, and we have to take an interest in it, not hate it. And we have to pay attention not to elect people who say things that simply don't make sense." One time Little Rocker Richard Ford prescribes a formula for electing officials after the Bush years. [The Guardian]

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