The Soulsville Foundation announces today that former Stax Records owner and GRAMMY Trustee Al Bell will deliver the graduation commencement address at its Soulsville Charter School’s seventh graduation to be held Thursday, May 17 at 6:30 pm at First Baptist Church Broad Ave, 2835 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112.
For the seventh consecutive year since it began having graduating classes in 2012, 100 percent of the school’s seniors have been accepted to college. In all, 85 seniors received more than 500 college acceptance letters and earned collectively more than $11 million in scholarships and grants.
Bell, who joined Stax Records in 1965 and helped mold the careers of artists such as Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, and the Staple Singers, eventually owned the company until it was forced into involuntary bankruptcy in 1975. This will be the first year he had delivered the graduation address.
Among his many accolades are being inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, and recipient of the highest honor the music industry bestows, the GRAMMY Trustees Award, putting him in the company of an elite group that includes The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Steve Jobs, and Quincy Jones.