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WILLIAM “SOUL” PORTER
June 18, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
When you first meet Porter, you might notice his quiet demeanor and friendly smile. After you’ve talked with him, you’ll also remember his hearty laugh, sincerity, zest for life, and, most of all, his love for music.
He was born in Mississippi and named William Saul Porter, then later changed his name to William “Soul” Porter. He and his family moved to Watts, California when he was six years old. He attended Jordan High School and received a track scholarship to San Jose State University in Northern California. Although basketball was his love and the sport in which he felt he excelled, he accepted the scholarship and ran the 440 and 880 meter race.
During high school, he hung out with the “fellas,” who later became The Whispers, Brenda Holloway, one of Motown’s key performers, and David T. Walker, guitarist extraordinaire, while he played “DO WOP” on the keyboard.
While attending San Jose State University, he learned the “business” part of the music industry and began promoting, managing and booking local talent. In 1965, he booked his first big “promotional show” with King Pleasure and The Modern Afro-Jazz Quartet. Later, he worked with such world renowned talents as Jennell Hawkins, Lou Rawls, Barbara Morrison, Ray Brooks, Esther Jones and Matilda Haywood.
In 1993, one of his main performers became ill, and Porter provided the entertainment himself by singing and playing the keyboard. Thus began his singing career and PORTER HOUSE ENTERPRISES.
Porter can be a one-man-band or call upon as many as 40 band members. He says he likes to rotate the members to keep the show “exciting and fun!” He primarily plays Jazz, Blues Oldies and Soul and adds Country occasionally. Porter has written over 50 songs that will be coming out digitally and on CDs. Look for them at the Porterhouse Online Music Store.
He continues to promote entertainers, perform at local restaurants, hotels and private events. You can also see him at The New Maverick’s Flat and Barbara Morrison’s Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, CA as well as Roscoe’s Seabird Jazz Lounge in Long Beach, CA.
Porter is the proud father of four children who reside in California. He performs for children’s benefits and coaches Little League Basketball. He also does talent searches and has received many awards for his dedication to community service.