Stax Owner Given Ahmet Ertegun Award

September 23, 2008

Al Bell, the former Stax Records owner and current Memphis Music Foundation Board member, has been awarded the Ahmet Ertegun Leadership Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation at its annual Pioneer Awards presentation in Philadelphia.

The award, named after the co-founder and executive of Atlantic Records, honors Bell’s achievements in the recording industry and his influence on American culture over the past 50 years.

As owner of Stax Records, Bell helped establish the careers of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, the Staples Singers, The Bar-Kays and Booker T and the MG’s.

Bell was instrumental in the financing and staging of the 1972 Wattstax concert that entertained more than 100,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

He later served as the head of Motown Records Group and worked with the label’s founder, Berry Gordy Jr., to sell the company to MCA/Boston Ventures Group.

Bell is a member of the Executive Committee of the Memphis Music Foundation, which operates the Memphis Music Resource Center.

SOURCE: Memphis Daily News – Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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