Dr. John E. Bell…Bringing Love Back
From his earliest memory of growing up in the South, music has been a part of John E. Bell’s life. Whether it was wafting through the Greensboro, N.C. home he shared with his God-fearing mother and three siblings or melodies that found refuge in his soul, music would become an integral part of John E. Bell ‘s life. Through his exposure to an eclectic mix of music from Gospel legends like James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar and the Winans to contemporary artists like Luther Vandross, Gladys Knight and The Pips and James Brown, Bell developed a great appreciation for the talents of those artists; and like them, he too would share his gift with the masses.
When Bell was 8 years old his family moved to Flint, Michigan, just north of Detroit, the birthplace of Motown. As he grew older Bell developed a flare for performing in the church and local talent shows where he garnered a huge following. “Those experiences allowed me to be the best at what I knew I could do; speaking very well and singing, both of which gave me a platform,” says Bell.
At Beecher High School, John E. Bell was considered a superstar on campus. Known as the ‘Singing Voice of Beecher High School,’ Bell would perform during teacher George Moss’ yearly talent show at the school. “It was THE event at my high school. When I sang Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye and El DeBarge songs the school went crazy. It was amazing that he would give African-American students a chance to shine in the arts,” reflects Bell. At urging of his guidance counselor Bell attended a summer music and theater program that forever impacted his life. “That program ignited a greater passion for music and gave me the confidence that one day I would become a recording artist,” reflects Bell.
Uncle Sam called after graduating high school and Bell joined the Navy. His musical aspirations would momentarily be put on hold, but not his love of it. “Everything became dormant, but the desire was still there,” says Bell.
The power of music is universal without boundaries. While stationed in many ports of call, Bell was introduced to music from all over the world. He was blown away about the soul and passion found in Phil Perry’s and Bob Marley’s voices. “Phil did a remake of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Call Me’ and I was mesmerized because it was one of the best remakes I had ever heard!” recalls Bell. Marley’s music was rhythmic and passionate. Marley’s music was about the social call to action and movement for Black people. The music that Bell was exposed to solidified his need to write and sing songs that were true to his soulful roots.
Honorably Discharged from the Navy, Bell began to reflect on his mother’s golden rule of garnering a good and solid education and enrolled in Morris College, a Historically Black College in Sumpter, N.C. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Bell studied medicine in Dominica at Ross and Unibe Universities gained valuable experiences and decided on a medical career in Podiatry and returned to the states where he became a Surgeon after his residencies in Pennsylvania and New York. Opening a private practice, The Excelsior Podiatry Clinic PLLC in 2006, Dr. Bell’s professional dreams came true.
It would seem that this world-traveler, doctor and aspiring artist would have it all; but heartache would find it way to Bell’s front door. A failed marriage and custody battles over his daughter could have broken most men, but Bell found a way to channel his heartbreak into the inspiration needed to re-ignite his musical aspirations as well a budding career as an author. In 2009 as he released, “Good Thing” which he recorded at Young Ave. Studios with producer Neal Jones. “The essence of the song was to answer the questions, ‘How do I get that intimacy back?’ and ‘How did it get stolen?’ What Bell soon realized was that a song can liberate that kind of pain and become therapeutic for the singer, while possibly doing the same for others. ”Music served as a conduit to get those negative feelings out,” recalls Bell. Needing to express his pain and shake the chains of depression, Bell poured out his heart and soul on tracks like, “Fracture From Love” “Cold Feet,” “I Want To Be Close To You” and “Soul to Soul.” On the literary side, Bell also became an accomplished author of four books, including his first and most successful, Invasion of The Baby Daddy, a fictional novel with sprinklings of real life events.
Having his musical mojo back, Bell found himself back in the studio with noted producer Keelyn Ellis laying down tracks at Royal Studios in Memphis, TN. While recording in the hallowed halls of Royal Studios, Bell met and began working with Boo and Archie Mitchell, sons of the late great Willie Mitchell, the architect of Al Green’s massive soul career. In 2011 Bell released his debut album, Special Occasion: A Tribute from Soul to Soul to rave reviews and international acclaim. Riding the wave of Special Occasion’s success, Bell performed to sell-out crowds in Memphis at The Ultimate Family Reunion concert at the famous Levitt-shell theater in Memphis, TN and across the pond in England at the Finsbury House of Live Music and in Holland, Amsterdam at The Muzikafe.
2012 has brought about an abundance of musical and professional blessings for the newly single artist. During this time Bell also wrote, “Lord I Need A Little Help,” which won him a Songwriter of the Year Award in Memphis. His current project, Dating Again, is an album that will be the musical score of an independent film entitled, “The Internal Mist of Love”. Bell’s music as the accompanying soundtrack, finds Bell in a newfound place of peace and musical euphoria. “Man Looking for Love” is an open letter to the ladies that he is ready and looking for love. Open to what love has to offer, Bell is pouring his heart out in the studio and soon-to-be-big screen with soulful love songs and a new outlook on life.
As God has taken this incredible artist full-circle, his faith has been restored and in the end…love won!
Dr. Bell has appeared on Fox13 News in the Morning in Memphis, TN. Dr. Bell has also appeared on Fox News in Baltimore, MD, he also did a talk show with Tanya Lewis in Fair Fax, Virginia on Relationships. Dr. Bell has been on the Thaddeus Matthews Show in Memphis, TN talking about his book, “Invasion of the Baby Daddy”. Bell has also been on the Prison world radio show about his topics in relationships. Bell has been interviewed on the Rev. Jesse Lewis Radio Show on his books with relationships. Dr. Bell has done numerous telephone interviews and online interviews on topics of relationships. In 2011 Bell also was an honored panelist with the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. Bell has been published with Riverhouse Publishing in Memphis, TN since 2010. Bell has enjoyed his R&B/Soul music played on many radio stations in America and across Europe. His latest album, “Dating Again” made the top 30 on the CRC charts in September 2012 and his single, “All I Want” was # 4 on the CRC charts in August 2012. Bell was featured in CMJ magazine in the November issue as a new artist of R&B/Soul music. His Song, “All I Want” made top 30 in the hip-hop charts in CMJ magazine in August 2012. Bell’s music will be the music score in the New Independent film, “The Internal Mist of Love”. A film based on Dr. Bell’s books as well. Dr. John E. Bell is honored to be listed as a top African-American health expert with http://www.blackexperts.com/listing/dr-john-e-bell-excelsior-podiatry-clinic.html.