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IMAGE: Jesse Jackson and Al Bell


Wattstax Executive Producer Al Bell


In the 1970's, two of the largest African-American owned businesses in America were Motown Records and Stax Records. Al Bell is the former owner of Stax Records.

During his years as head of Stax Records, Al Bell, in conjucntion with Larry Shaw, introduced marketing and promotional innovations, which changed the direction of the nation's music industry.

Stax Records worked with Melvin Van Peebles on the release of his revolutionary film Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song and with MGM Studios on the release of the film Shaft, demonstrating marketing and promotional techniques that woke the film industry to the potential in the black marketplace and led to the black film renaissance of the 1970's.

In the 1980's, Al Bell became head of the Motown Records Group and worked with Berry Gordy in the sale of Motown to the MCA/Boston Ventures Group. After Motown, he discovered the music group Tag Team and released "Whoomp! There It Is" which sold over 5,000,000 single units. This record was one of the biggest selling singles in the history of the music industry.

Al Bell was asked by "the artist" formerly known as Prince to release a single record for him, after his label Warner Brothers Records turned him down. Using his unique style of marketing and promotion, Al Bell released "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" and gave Prince his biggest selling single ever.

   

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