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SoundTRAX: Chris Bell from "Big Star- Nothing Can Hurt Me"

The band Big Star is posed on the left side, while the band's name and star logo are on the right.
Magnolia Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

Over the weekend I was searching through streaming services trying to find a movie to watch, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a documentary about a band I love— Big Star.

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me was released in 2012 and was co-produced by Louisvillian and sonaBLAST! Records founder Gill Holland. I don't know how I missed it then!

I knew the basics of Big Star— Alex Chilton of The Box Tops and Chris Bell and their often contentious relationship. How the band has influenced everyone from R.E.M., to The Replacements, to KISS, yet never achieved even a little commercial success in their time as a band.

The doc showed me that I, like too many others, probably gave Alex Chilton a little too much credit for the band's work, and Chris Bell too little. And how debilitating that was for Bell— coupled with his disappointment that Big Star was exalted by the critics, yet virtually ignored by everyone else.

It was fascinating and a little sad. And still mind-boggling it took people so long to truly appreciate this band.

And because my admiration of Chris Bell was clearly less than it should have been, today's SoundTRAX will focus on the B-side to his only single "I Am the Cosmos."

Bell tragically died in a car accident at just 27.

I have never heard this song without getting chills. It's even more touching with the knowledge that Bell is harmonizing with his former bandmate, Alex Chilton.

Today's SoundTRAX is "You and Your Sister" by Chris Bell.

The documentary is on Amazon Prime right now. Check out the trailer.

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Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.