Producer Willie Mitchell to Receive Blues Trail Marker - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Music Icon is honored on the Mississippi Blues Trail

Mississippi Blues Trail Mississippi Blues Trail
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Willie Mitchell, a renowned trumpeter and producer who launched the careers of Al Green and other popular 1970s soul performers, will be honored with a new marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail.

The unveiling will take place on Saturday Sept. 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the Ashland Town Square, which is located at the corner of Ripley Avenue and Court Street.

As a producer, studio engineer, trumpeter and bandleader, Willie Mitchell played a central role in the rise of Memphis as a center for soul music.

Mitchell is best known for the classic hits that he produced for Al Green, most notably "Let's Stay Together," which he also co-wrote and mixed.

Mitchell supervised sessions by Mississippians, including Syl Johnson (a fellow Benton County native), Otis Clay and Denise LaSalle.  

He also worked with well-known rock performers, such as John Mayer and Rod Stewart. He died in Memphis on January 5, 2010.

Mitchell had taken up the trumpet by the age of eight and later learned to write musical charts from pianist Onzie Horne, Sr. 

The first records Mitchell made under his own name appeared in 1959 on the local Stomper Time label.

From 1960-1961, Mitchell produced and recorded for the Home of the Blues label before moving to Hi Records.

There Mitchell arranged recordings for Mississippians Ace Cannon and Gene Simmons, among others, and began scoring his own instrumental hits.

Mitchell also produced for Hi subsidiaries M.O.C. and Pawn, including down home blues by Mississippians Big Lucky Carter and Big Amos Patton and soul-blues by Willie Clayton.

This music legend acquired stock in Hi in 1969, when he became a vice president of the company.

Hi was sold to Cream Records in 1977, but Mitchell retained Royal Studios at 1320 Lauderdale (now Willie Mitchell Boulevard) and continued to produce for Hi/Cream. 

Come honor this music icon on Sept. 27, at the Ashland Town Square.  

For more information about the Mississippi Blues Trail, click here.

Copyright 2014 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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