Music Legend David Porter Launches National Music Mentorship Organization

Release date: 10/23/2012

Hall of Fame songwriter, producer and music legend David Porter, is launching a national music mentorship non-profit called The CONSORTIUM MMT (Memphis Music Town) which will be housed on the second floor of the Falls building in the Greater Memphis Chamber offices.  The CONSORTIUM will develop a new, young talent pool to bring back the thriving music industry in Memphis through mentorships with music industry veterans who will be passing techniques and improvement processes on to them.

(l-r) Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., David Porter, Randal Rushing, Mark HerbisonDavid Porter is a Hall of Fame songwriter, producer. Along with his songwriting partner, Isaac Hayes, Porter was inducted into the National Songwriting Hall of Fame in New York in 2005. His music catalogue has been involved in unit sales of more than 300 million. Among his hits are “Soul Man”, “Hold On, I’m Coming”, “When Something is Wrong with my Baby”, “B-A-B-Y”, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit it”, “Dreamlover”, and a host of others. He has songs that have been used as themes for movies as well as television shows.  Porter is a lifelong Memphian who loves his home city and says it’s time to give back even more.

“I stayed in Memphis because my career started in Memphis,” says David Porter, Founder of the CONSORTIUM. “The confidence that I gained to be able to achieve the success I did came from the people of Memphis giving me that confidence by encouraging and accepting me.  At this stage in my life, I want to be sure I’ve given back in my own life as much as has been given to me. Music is the best way I know how to do that.”

The CONSORTIUM’s goal is to re-establish that part of the Memphis music legacy that gave this city the respect, impact and economic activity that it enjoyed as one of the most admired places in the world for true soul music.  Porter states:  “The world will connect again with Memphis talent, when it hears some of what gave Memphis a signature.  Soul Music.”

“Memphis turned the world upside down when it introduced the blues, rock and soul.  It changed pop culture as we know it,” said John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.  “As the Chamber prepares to celebrate its 175th anniversary, it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of a new history that is being written.  This new venture brings renewed focus on a Memphis industry that once reigned supreme, and I feel confident with David Porter at the helm, it will capture that top spot, again.”

Two of the nationally known figures who helped raise the concept and who will be given feedback at various points to the accepted artists are Steve Jordan and Ray Parker, Jr. Jordan, an internationally known musician (drummer) and producer, has played in Stevie Wonders’ band, the Blues Brothers, Don Henley, Stevie Knicks, Bob Dylan, Kelly Clarkson and many others. Jordan also co-writes and produces with John Mayer, Keith Richards (who he’s presently working on a project with) as well as many others.  

The highly respected Ray Parker Jr., artist, guitarist, producer, songwriter, is known for writing and producing the theme for Ghostbusters. Parker has million selling albums as an artist but also has recorded such artists as Stevie Wonder, Barry White, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, to name a few.  Ray Parker, Jr. tours nationally and internationally currently but he also produces and writes for top artists today. 

David Porter and many other Memphis greats will be participating as mentors:

The CONSORTIUM Committee

Kirk Whalum, recording artist, Grammy winner
Al Bell, former owner of STAX records, music industry executive icon
James Alexander, original member of the Bar-Kays, producer, artist
Boo Mitchell, owner of Hi-Records, producer, engineer
Jon Hornyak, senior executive director of the Memphis chapter of NARAS (the Grammy organization)
Dean Deyo, president of the Memphis Music Foundation
Al Kapone, rap artist, writer, producer
Gary Goin, producer, songwriter and David Porter’s partner for the last 15 years

The CONSORTIUM will build a foundation in soul music with a core objective of elevating the quality of songwriting, producing, record producing and a stage presence to the level that was revered when the world was talking about the Memphis sound.  Its programs will all be geared towards that end. It will engage with professionals with a proven track record who will give the talent advice about what has made their careers successful without compromising the gifts and talents of the aspiring artists in the program.

“The CONSORTIUM will not be developing talent for those who are just starting but will be looking for talent who are good, but with some additional help, can become exceptional,” said Porter.  “And our goal is to help them become exceptional.”

In addition to the CONSORTIUM Committee, another big supporter of the organization will be the University of Memphis.

“People from around the world know Memphis music,” said Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the University of Memphis.  “The University of Memphis’ Scheidt School of Music is known for educating great musicians from soul, blues, jazz, rock and roll and gospel to the classics and opera. In all these genres of music, we learn when great musicians come to our campus and perform with our students and faculty.  In addition to learning from great performers, we want our students also to learn from music industry professionals. We have an outstanding Commercial Music Program and can benefit from David Porter’s connections throughout the worlds of composing, performing and conducting the business of music.”

On December 15th, The CONSORTIUM will announce their website with all contact steps and an official opening date. 

The Consortium MMT is a non-profit entity geared to develop a viable music industry in Memphis for the future.  Giving, growing and showing a living legacy in Memphis music every day by uniting ambitious talents with professional support.

The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.