Brinkley native Al Bell got his professional start in the '60s as a DJ in Little Rock before conquering the world of soul and R&B as one of the key figures in — and later chairman and owner of — the legendary Stax Records.
He had a hand in launching the careers of such giants as The Staple Singers, The Emotions and Isaac Hayes, and produced records for Sam and Dave, Booker T and the M.G.'s, The Bar Kays, Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Albert King and many more. He serves on the boards of directors for several nonprofits and schools and has earned numerous awards, including a 2011 Grammy Trustees Award for his contributions to recorded music.
In other words, the man is a living legend and he lives right here in Little Rock.
Now, Bell is back on to the airwaves of Central Arkansas as the host of "Al Bell Presents American Soul Music," a three-hour show that made its radio debut last week. The program got started as an online show back in 2009, but now you can also hear it on HeartBeat 106.7-KHLR every Friday night at 7 p.m.
"Music is the great emotional trigger of the human soul," Bell said in a press statement. "Nothing elicits a memory, nothing inspires a mood and nothing moves people to action as thoroughly as does a great song."
While Little Rock native Jeff Nichols' second film "Take Shelter" didn't win either of the Gotham Awards it was nominated for at Monday night's ceremony, the psychological thriller was nominated for five 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, tying the black-and-white silent film "The Artist" for the most nominations this year.
"Take Shelter" earned nods for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead (Michael Shannon), Best Supporting Female (Jessica Chastain) and the Piaget Producers Award (Sophia Lin).
The awards ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 25, and will be aired later that evening on IFC.
The judges for the Independent Spirit Awards consider feature-length films that express a "uniqueness of vision," with "original, provocative subject matter" that were made for $20 million or less. The films also must have either screened for one week in a commercial theater or have been screened at the Los Angeles, New Directors/New Films, New York, Sundance, Telluride, or Toronto film festivals.