Wendell Bates learned early in life, helping others throughout your life, is the best way one can help themselves!!  Wendell lived this early in life lesson and creed while growing up and attending various Philadelphia schools prior to graduating and receiving a scholarship to Lincoln University to become a high school teacher;  and his constant helping of others didn’t stop there!!  It was at the suggestion of his friend the late Ed Bradley of  ‘CBS 60-Minutes’ that lead to him accepting a job with newly formed Sussex Records established by Clarence Avant and leaving Pennsylvania’s educational system to accept a higher paying job in record promotions.  That’s how Wendell Bates got involved in the music business and met Bill Withers.
Prior to being signed by Sussex records, Bill was one of the many talents seeking a shot to be signed and recorded by some Hollywood record label.   Clarence Avant gave Bill that shot and Wendell Bates as a member of Sussex’s promotion team went all out to help make Bill’s first single release of “Grandma’s Hands,” the spring board that sprung Bill Withers to the top of the heap amongst talented and accepted artists and musicians world wide.
Wendell Bates excelled in this area of the Record Industry for Sussex Records and a few other record labels and production teams.  In June of 2016 following the Record Industries Annual Picnic, Wendell Bates fell from a ladder while pruning trees in his yard.  His family didn’t broadcast the news except for a post from his daughter on his Facebook page.  They requested privacy until they could process the extent of his injury and we respected their wishes.
They have since realized that they do not have to travel this journey alone and are now willing to share some info with all of us.  As a result of his fall, Wendell is recovering from a spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed with very limited mobility, speech and feelings.   He has quietly undergone extensive physical therapy since his accident last June.
The good news is that he has been showing some progress.  The downside is that the medical bills are mounting for his wife and family.  If you have ever worked with Wendell or know him socially, it would be deeply appreciated if you would send any contributions or love offering to help them through these challenging times.  In addition, you can send get well cards and good wishes to help keep Wendell’s spirits up.
You can also write a check made payable to Dora Bates and mail it to the address below: Mr & Mrs Wendell Bates, 42525 62nd Street West, Lancaster, CA  93536. In the memo section, you can write “Wendell Bates Fund”.   You can also donate via credit card or from your PayPal account at = www.paypal.me/WendellBatesFund.

“Wendell has served on our Legends & Icons Picnic planning committee and we want to create a scrapbook for him.  Everyone will get their own page that would consist of a photo(s) and your message to him.  Please email me your get well message, poem or inspirational note and any photos of you and Wendell to blackdotllc@gmail.com.  If you don’t have a photo together, include a photo of yourself to personalize the page.   We’ll create the page for you, so all you need to do is send the materials.  This book is guaranteed to make his day and put a big smile on his face!  Please keep Wendell, his wife and family in your thoughts and prayers and ask God for his continued progress.”

Pat Shields, Marty Mack and Record Industry Friends