David Porter Launches Music Mentorship Program

By Andy Meek

Songwriter, producer, hit-making machine and Memphis native David Porter is moving into the Falls Building Downtown in a few weeks to launch a national music mentorship venture.

The Consortium MMT (Memphis Music Town) will be housed in the Greater Memphis Chamber offices and will seek to connect young musicians with music industry veterans.

Porter, along with his songwriting partner Isaac Hayes, was inducted into the National Songwriting Hall of Fame in 2005. His hits include “Soul Man,” “Hold On, I’m Coming,” “Getting’ Jiggy Wit It” and “Dreamlover” among others.

“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,” Porter said. “Music is the best way I know how to do that.”

Two of the music figures who will be working with artists accepted into the program are Ray Parker Jr., who wrote and produced the theme song for the “Ghostbusters” movies. Also working with the artists will be Steve Jordan, who’s played in Stevie Wonder’s and with Don Henley and Bob Dylan, among others.

Jordan also is currently working on a project with Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Porter will join a list of Memphis music leaders participating with the new venture as mentors. They include recording artist and Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, former Stax owner Al Bell, original Bar-Kays member James Alexander, senior executive director of the Memphis chapter of the Grammys organization Jon Hornyak, Memphis Music Foundation president Dean Deyo, rapper Al Kapone and producer and songwriter Gary Goin.

The venture will announce its website, contact information and an official opening date Dec. 15.