Al Bell in front of the Stax Marquee Reed Bunzel of Al Bell Presents, LLC/University of Arkansas

Brinkley native Al Bell — former chairman/owner of Stax Records and former president of Motown Records Group — has been named the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville’s 2018-19 McIlroy Family Visiting Professor in the Visual and Performing Arts.

“We are so excited to partner Mr. Bell’s decades of experience in the music industry with our focus on education, performance and creation,” U of A Department of Music chair Ronda Mains said.“We will come together to build new avenues to help our students succeed in the ever-changing music world.”


“I am profoundly honored, humbled and thankful to be recognized, considered and named to this professorship,” Bell said. “This partnership centered on learning, performance and the music business is an indescribable opportunity. I can personally testify that life, living and all of the challenges associated with it are worth it if you possess the right intent.”

Bell will give a talk titled “NOW is the Season and the Time!” at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at the UA’s Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development.


Keep an eye out on the University’s Department of Music website for additional events featuring Bell and his legacy.