Tim Sampson 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Spotlight: Celebrating Willie Mitchell’s Life \ Willie Mitchell was as much of a Memphis music legend and pioneer as anyone in the music industry. A trumpeter, bandleader, and one of the greatest music producers in the world, his accomplishments are part of the very backbone of American music. Mr. Mitchell is perhaps best known for discovering, producing, and recording soul and gospel icon Al Green. He also created indelible music with artists such as Ann Peebles, Sly Johnson, O.V. Wright, Donald Bryant, and Otis Clay. More recently, Cat Power a.k.a. Chan Marshall, John Mayer, The Bo-Keys, and Buddy Guy, among others, also recorded at his Royal Studios. “Poppa” Willie Mitchell was a very kind and generous mentor to many of the people with whom he worked and was known by those close to him for his incredible sense of humor. The GRAMMY Foundation awarded him a Lifetime Trustee Award in 2008, and the City of Memphis renamed the stretch of Lauderdale Street where Royal Studios is located “Willie Mitchell Boulevard” in 2004. Mr. Mitchell was a great friend of Stax Records during its heyday when he was a recording star at Hi Records. He shared such musicians as Booker T. & the Mgs’ drummer, Al Jackson Jr., the Memphis Horns, and others. Together, Stax and Hi were known as the creators of “the Memphis Sound” throughout the world, and that remains unchanged today. Mr. Mitchell died in Memphis on Jan. 5, 2010, after a lifetime spent creating sounds that will forever remain distinctive. For more information, call the Soulsville Foundation at 946-2535 or email tim.sampson@ soulsvillefoundation.org.
Published by Downtowner Magazine. View All Articles.