Join us for Songwriters in the Round at The Green Room at Crosstown Arts, featuring Don Bryant, Susan Marshall, and Reba Russell.
Doors at 7 pm | performance at 7:30 pm
About the artists:
Don Bryant began singing when he was 5. He joined his father’s family vocal group, then formed a gospel quartet for a high school radio gig. The group went secular, singing pop at WLOK on Dick “Cane” Cole’s popular show. After parting with the DJ, they took a very real step toward careers when, as the Four Kings, they began fronting Willie Mitchell’s band.
But the group broke up and Willie anointed Don Bryant as his leading man. Don could also write songs. He was still in his teens when, in 1960, Willie was producing the 5 Royales and Don handed him “I Got To Know.” The 5 Royales put it on wax. Don was hot in the spotlight and in the writer’s room.
As Willie Mitchell carved out his place at Hi Records, Don was close by. He wrote material for other Hi artists, including Janet & the Jays and Norman West. Around 1970, Willie put Don with the Hi label’s newest act, Ann Peebles, who burst on the scene with “Part Time Love.” Don looked at this slight young lady and penned “99 Lbs” for her. The relationship warmed, they co-wrote the hit “I Can’t Stand the Rain” in 1973 and were married the following year.
Memphis artist Susan Marshall began her career Off-Broadway as a leading soprano in the Rep-Company Light Opera of Manhattan. Shortly after moving back to Memphis in 1990, she began fronting rock-soul band The Mother Station and was signed to a record deal with EastWest / Atlantic Records.
“Better Off Alone” (a song she co-wrote with Austin Carroll) was recorded by American Idol’s Katherine McPhee for her 2007 self-titled debut which reached #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart. Her songs have also been recorded by international blues divas Ana Popovic and Reba Russell to name a few.
Susan has toured all over the world as part of the Afghan Whigs, as well as with Cat Power & The Memphis Rhythm Band. She is also known for her studio and/or stage work with a wide range of superstars; Lucinda Williams, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ann Peebles, North Mississippi Allstars, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Solomon Burke, Jim Lauderdale, Steve Earle, and Kirk Whalum to name a few.
Reba Russell is a name synonymous with the Memphis Music scene. She is a published songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, backing vocalist, bandleader, and producer, as well as a touring and recording artist.
Reba Russell and her band tour throughout the United States and Europe and have released eight independent albums that showcase songwriting and delivery. She is also a highly respected Memphis studio/session vocalist.
The list of credits for recording artists that Reba has performed backing vocals in session for is vast. A few notable credits are; U2 (When Love Comes to Town, BB King/ Bono). Class of 55 Homecoming featuring: Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins. Huey Lewis and the News, album; Soulsville. Numerous local/blues/regional acts including Tracy Nelson, Jim Dickinson, Sid Selvidge, and Lucero.