“William Bell (born July 16, 1939) is an American soul singer and songwriter, and one of the architects of the Stax–Voltsound. As a performer, he is probably best known for 1961’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water” (his debut single); 1968’s “Private Number” (a duet with Judy Clay, and a top 10 hit in the UK); and 1976’s “Tryin’ To Love Two”, Bell’s only US top 40 hit, which also hit #1 on the R&B charts.
As a songwriter, Bell co-authored the Chuck Jackson hit “Any Other Way”, Billy Idol‘s 1986 hit “Got To Be Your Lover”, and the blues classic “Born Under A Bad Sign”, popularized by both Albert King and Cream.” (Wikipedia)
I first heard of William Bell a few years ago, when a friend from the U.K. sent me a song by him — I think it was Private Number, a duet with Judy Clay.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a live clip with him and Judy Clay singing Private Number, but the one I found is actually very nice, too. Watching the two, I’ve got the feeling that the lady is kind of invading his private sphere … Nevertheless, I love the performance.
Here’s William Bell’s My Door is Always Open (Stax 1971).
Judy Clay and William Bell — Private Number
More from William Bell on SOTS (first edition)