'Soul Man' writer, Stax legend launches Memphis recording label

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new music recording studio is open and promising to revive the music scene in Memphis.

Multi-Grammy Award-winning artist and Songwriters Hall of Famer David Porter announced his new Memphis-based record label, Made In Memphis Entertainment, on Monday morning.

Porter became famous in the 1960s through his songwriting and production skills. Porter wrote iconic Sam & Dave songs such as 'Hold On, I'm Coming' and 'Soul Man.' Since his breakthrough, Porter has continued to dominate the music scene. He has more than 1,700 songwriter or producer credits; those songs have resulted in more than 300 million units sold.

Rolling Stone named Porter as one of the top 100 songwriters of all time. Still, he wanted more.

"I just want to be sure that I was here for a more meaningful purpose than just writing 'Soul Man,'" Porter said.

Porter launched a state-of-the-art sound studio that he says will recapture and revive Memphis music.

"If you know the truth we are a great city, we have tremendous assets in this city," Porter said.

Porter has already cultivated some top talent. He's signed several new generation artists, and over the last year, Porter secretly recorded two albums (albums by Porcelan and Matthew Michael will be released later this year).

"Watch out Memphis, it's happening," said Hamilton Hardin, vice president of Made In Memphis Entertainment. "We are bent towards making a world wide impact."

Porter is 75 years old. He said launching Made In Memphis Entertainment is just the beginning of keeping the heritage and history of soul music alive.

"I still have enough energy to do anything I want to do, when I want to do it, where I want to do it, and anybody who tells you I can't do it will only be my wife," Porter said jokingly.

The Artists:

"The music that is coming out of 'Made in Memphis Entertainment' will be music that competes with Justin, that competes with Bruno, that competes with Adele on their level," Porter said.

It was a Cinderella story for Westwood songstress Porcelan, who was working overtime at the mall when she got the call.

"You always have to be prepared," Porcelan said.

Memphis soul, pop, and rock sensation Matthew Michael recorded a song that Porter had been saving for the right artist for 20 years.

"That's the beautiful thing about God's design," Michael said.

Jessica Ray, a Memphis singer and dancer, talked about being a part of a music legacy.

"Being pioneers in this is absolutely amazing," Ray said.

Even the songwriters have stories.

"Having Cerebral palsy, it also made me empathetic, which helps them out writing," songwriter Denarious Holmes said.

"I was a cancer patient at St. Jude as a baby," said Jeremy O'Brien, a songwriter, drummer, and background singer.

"The music has not stopped, the talent has not gone away," said attorney Tony Alexander. President of Made in Memphis Entertainment. "Unfortunately the spotlight just moved and so we're just trying to bring the spotlight back to Memphis."

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