Legendary Songwriter David Porter is Un-Vaulting Decades of Music

Brandon Hill Brandon is a young writer from Illinois. His love of…
David Porter Stands at a podium on stage
Photo Credit: Anna Webber/Getty Images for National Museum Of African American Music

David Porter stayed busy after the closing of Stax Records. Decades of vaulted songs have been freshly recorded for a series of new releases that starts with Chapter 1… Back in the Day.

Christmas could come early this year if you’re a Vinyl Me, Please subscriber. In a collaboration between the analog-focused distribution company and Made in Memphis Entertainment, Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee David Porter will be releasing an album’s worth of vaulted songs, freshly recorded and available only on wax.

Porter’s decades of writing and producing have touched a swath of recognizable hits over the years. From original recordings like Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” and direct work with a range of artists including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Celine Dione, Wu-Tang Clan and Drake, to samples of his work appearing on Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” and Will Smith’s “Gettin Jiggy Wit It,” Porter’s influence has had deep reverberations throughout American music. His latest effort, titled Chapter 1… Back in the Day, will be his first personal release in 50 years.

“Just as Isaac Hayes and I found our place in the industry, I knew future generations would find their place too. I just never imagined through a new method called sampling they’d find ways to show love and respect to what I did while also establishing their own individuality,” Porter said in a press release. “That idea was additional motivation in doing this series of my never-released material, beginning with Chapter 1, with the same flavor that has given me a lifetime of joy.”

The album pulls ten new tracks from decades of vaulted songs never-recorded until now. Calling on a band of various musicians he’s worked with previously and a new roster of vocalists from his label, Made in Memphis Entertainment, Chapter 1 is only the first in a series of releases coming out of Porter’s overflowing vault.

When Stax Records closed in 1975, where he did much of his storied work with Isaac Hayes, Porter continued to write and produce these demos with no intention of releasing them at the time, knowing that years down the line the songs could be a windfall to a new generation of artists.

“Recently, I just got the feeling that I should get back into some of this material,” Porter told Vinyl Me Please. “There were so many samples I’d done out of my catalog, until it was just a feeling that maybe there would be some fresh ideas that some of the new up-and-coming young producers and talents would also like to have an opportunity to find something in the new material, yet had never been released.”

Chapter 1 is set to combine the vintage sound and feel of Porter’s funk and R&B of the ‘70s and ‘80s with the capabilities of modern recording equipment and fresh-faced artistic talent. The record is available for pre-purchase now only on vinyl, the way Porter says such a sound is meant to be heard, through the Vinyl Me, Please website. Check out the tracklist below, and see the full credits here:

  1. “Elevator Love” Ft. Brandon Wattz
  2. “Circles” Ft. Candise Marshall
  3. “365 Days to Never” Ft. Brandon Wattz
  4. “Move Your Body (Let’s Groove)” Ft. Marcus Scott
  5. “By Your Side” Ft. Brandon Wattz
  6. “Where Did the Thrill Go” Ft. Candise Marshall
  7. “Waiting” Ft. Brandon Wattz
  8. “If I have to Do Wrong” Ft. Marcus Scott
  9. “Weather Any Storm” Ft. Candise Marshall
  10. “Fire and Water” Ft. Brandon Wattz

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