Soul Sunday: William Bell – “Any Other Way”

William Bell (born William Yarbrough; July 16, 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee) is a singer/songwriter who co-authored such classics as “Born Under a Bad Sign” with Booker T. Jones and “You Don’t Miss Your Water” which was later covered by the immortal Otis Redding. In 1955 Bell joined the vocal harmony group called The Del Rios and remained with them until 1962 when he was offered a solo recording deal by Stax Records. Later that same year Bell cut “You Don’t Miss Your Water” (he was feeling homesick when he wrote it while living in New York). In 1963 Bell was drafted into the Army for a mandatory 2 year stint just as his reputation as a songwriter was beginning to get noticed. His songs were covered by Carla Thomas, Georgie Fame and Otis Redding who covered “You Don’t Miss Your Water” on his 1965 classic “Otis Blue”. In 1967, two years removed from his service in the military, Stax released Bell’s debut album, “The Soul Of A Bell” which combined his singles mixed in with some current song covers.

In 2016, Bell reunited with a re-booted Stax label and released the acclaimed album This Is Where I Live.

Below is one of my favorite tracks from his classic 1967 album.

Any Other Way (Stax Records-1967)

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Exiled New Englander now living in Canada. I dream in Spanish but can't speak it. I wish I'd grown up as an old black man playin' the blues just like my father.

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