Bell then had an opportunity to be a disc jockey at WLOK in Memphis, Tennessee.
Bell started his own label, Devore, and used the studio facilities at Stax Records.
Bell left the organization and reenrolled at Philander Smith.
During his junior and senior years there, he presided over the state honor society, the student council, and the audio visual society.
The latter post put him in charge of the record player during school dances.
Stax began to have financial troubles after losing the rights to its back catalogs—including the biggest hits from Sam & Dave and Otis Redding—to Atlantic, followed by the death of Redding in a December 1967 plane crash.
The company regrouped by separating itself from Atlantic and creating multiple subsidiary labels to produce music for various genres, including country and jazz, in addition to the traditional Stax fare of soul, funk, and rhythm and blues.