2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Memphis Means Music

Memphis music is one of the world's most important cultural gems. Join key players in the Memphis scene, past and present, as they discuss the songs and artists that have inspired and influenced so much of the world's popular music.



Martin Shore


Take Me To The River

Martin Shore is the founder and Chairman of the L.A.-based entertainment company Social Capital, of the the fastest growing music, feature film and new media companies in the industry.

Martin Shore began his entertainment career at 14 as a PA for his brothers award winning short film "Live at CBGB's" in late 1976 and in 1977 for the film "Punking Out". As a musician Mr. Shore has toured with Bo Diddley, Albert Collins, Bluesman Willie, and many others. He has produced soundtracks and has acted as music supervisor for a number of feature films including "Saw" and "Saw II", "Rize", "Rock School", and others. He has been a music producer for a variety of artists, including Yo Gotti, Mavis Staples, Booker T. Jones, The North Mississippi Allstars, and many others.

As a feature film producer Mr. Shore's films have been featured in many international film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. A partial list of his credits as Producer include "Hood of Horror" (Snoop Dogg), "Tell Tale" (Josh Lucas), produced with Ridley and Tony Scott, "The Countess" (Julie Delpy and William Hurt), "Dark Tide" (Halle Berry), and "2001 Maniacs" (the sequel).

Mr. Shore is now directing, writing, and producing the soon to be released "Take Me To The River", along with producing the accompany album. The film combines legendary musicians with stars of today that reside within 100 miles of Memphis.

As a Grammy-nominated producer Mr. Shore has toured for the past three years, schedule permitting, with Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) and his band Hill Country Revue. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Sciences (Grammy Awards) and the Producers Guild of America.

Mr. Shore recently partnered with Academy Award winning visual pioneer John Gaeta to form Float Hybrid Entertainment, which is a "smart and sensor based" entertainment company founded in 2009. Float helped develop Kinect and was Microsoft's only third party developer and now sits on the Kinect board at Microsoft. Float develops User Experience (UX) prototypes and Content (software) products for mobile devices, smart TV and connected platforms.


Lawrence Mitchell


Take Me To The River

Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell
Son of legendary producer and band leader Willie Mitchell, Boo Mitchell began recording at the age of 17. Boo’s first session was as a keyboard player on Al Green’s Grammy Award winning “As Long as We’re Together,” in 1988. In 1989 he and his brother Archie formed a rap group called the M-Team.
The M-Team was the first rap group in Memphis to release a full length album, also the first Memphis rap group to have a video played on MTV. For the past 25 years, Boo has been a manager/producer/engineer at Willie Mitchell’s world famous Royal Studios. For the past 3 years Boo has worked on the feature length film "Take Me To The River" with his friend Martin Shore. The film pairs Memphis and Delta music legends with stars and artist of today and shows the true impact that music from Memphis and the Delta has had on the world. Boo has worked on recordings for several multi-platinum, Grammy Nominated and Award winning artists such as Al Green, Buddy Guy, Isaac Hayes, John Mayer, Hurricane Chris, Solomon Burke, Anthony Hamilton, The BarKays, Bobby Rush, Denise LaSalle, Rod Stewart, Terrence Howard, Elton John, Keb Mo, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Paul Rodgers, The Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, The North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Plant, Boz Scaggs, Trombone Shorty, Mark Ronson,Jeff Bhasker, Sam Moore and others. Boo is currently the President of the Memphis Grammy Chapter.


Cody Dickinson


Take Me To The River

Frayser Boy

Take Me to the River

Booker T Jones

Take Me to the River


Robert Gordon

Freelance Writer

Author and Filmmaker
Not the rockabilly singer, but a fan.
Books include "Respect Yourself" and "It Came From Memphis" and "Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters"
Movies include "William Eggleston's Stranded in Canton," "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story," and "Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan."


William Bell

Take Me to the River


Al Bell

Take Me to the River

Al Bell currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Al Bell Presents, LLC and Chairman of the Board of the Memphis Music Foundation.

Al Bell is the former owner of Stax Records. In the 1970’s, two of the largest African-American owned businesses in America were Motown Records and Stax Records. During his years as head of Stax Records, Mr. Bell introduced marketing and promotional innovations that changed the direction of the nation's music industry. Stax produced gold and platinum hits on such varied artists as Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Johnny Taylor, Sam and Dave, Booker T and the MGs, the Bar-Kays, Otis Redding, The Emotions, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Billy Eckstine, Albert King, The Dramatics, and a host of others.

Stax Records worked with Melvin Van Peebles on the release of his revolutionary film “Sweetback” and with MGM Studios on the release of the film “Shaft.” Both projects demonstrated marketing and promotional techniques that woke the film industry UP to the potential in the black marketplace and led to the black film renaissance of the 1970s.

Al Bell successfully marketed the theme from “Shaft,” performed by Isaac Hayes, and elevated it to the revered Winner’s Circle of the Motion Picture Industry’s Academy Awards, where it secured an Oscar Award for the Best Original Song. As a result, Hayes became the first African-American to receive that honor (or any other Academy Award in a non-acting category). Throughout his career, Mr. Bell has been considered a visionary, a seer, an icon, a music mogul, and a communications and entertainment maverick. Today, when most in the industry speak his name they refer to his status as legendary.

Mr. Bell added to the roster of box office hits with the landmark 1973 film “Wattstax,” a documentary based on a Stax Records concert that entertained 112,000 people from Los Angeles to Watts in the Los Angeles stadium. This was the largest musical event ever presented to Black America.

In the 1980s, Mr. 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 million single units. This record remains one of the biggest-selling singles in the history of the recorded music industry. Mr. Bell was approached by the artist Prince (aka the Symbol) to release a single record for him after his own label, Warner Brothers Records, had turned him down. Using his unique style of marketing and promotion, Al released “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and gave Prince his biggest-selling single.

In the recently published book, “Soulsville USA: The Stax Records Story,” which chronicles the history of Stax Records by the revered music and Stax historian Rob Bowman, Jesse Jackson is quoted as saying, “Stax was not just a record company. It was a sound. It was a piece of culture. It was a moment of conscience and experience of mankind. At the right time, it meant a lot to us. People still heavily borrow upon the tradition of Stax and the lineage laid down by the very special genius of Al Bell.”

Over the years, Al Bell has received a vast body of honors and awards. Mr. Bell recently received the highest honor bestowed by the recorded music industry: the Prestigious Grammy Trustees Award, presented by the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). In 2011, this award was given in recognition of Mr. Bell’s lifetime of influence, achievement, and success in his pursuit of musical excellence. This commitment is demonstrated through the creation, development and successful marketing of rare performing artists who recorded unique music art. These artists entertained and interacted with their audiences with raw passion and pure emotion in their lyrics and sound. This standard of excellence is what classified them as entertainment icons. This is considered a noble achievement by Mr. Bell in the recorded music and entertainment industries.

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