For five decades this band has impacted audiences across the world with their majestic moves and funkadelic sound, from the White House for the president and his guests to Iraq for our troops, and they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Their music career includes five gold albums, one platinum and more than 20 top ten singles and albums.
The Bar-Kays’ remarkable career has been documented in music institutions such as the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The esteemed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum exhibits their iconic stage garb and musical equipment. The Stax-inspired group was also inducted into the 2013 Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
Conceived in 1964, originating as the Stax Records’ house band in 1966, the Bar-Kays were born from soul music and turbulent times. Selected by Otis Redding as his touring band, the highly sought after Stax Band faced tragedy in the midst of a successful career. After the 1967 tragic plane crash that killed Redding and several members, the Bar-Kays James Alexander reformed the band with Larry Dodson singing lead and continued on, as he felt the band would have wanted him to. Though the group had many successes in the studio, they felt most at home “burning it up live.”
“Our stage show was important,” says founding member James Alexander. “However, we came up in an era where you didn’t need a record to work. If you had a great show you could work.”
For 50 years, the Bar-Kays have been a powerhouse of funk, R&B and soul music. As philanthropists through their Allen Jones/Marjorie Baringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship Fund for HBCU’s, the band still strives for excellence. They also continue to release new music that crosses generations, like their recent 2012 hit “Grown Folks” which was produced by Alexander’s son, award-winning rapper and record producer, Phalon “Jazze Pha” Alexander, who was named after deceased band-member Phalon Jones.
“James and I are old pros but our band is very youthful,” states Larry Dodson reflecting on the Bar-Kays recent successes. “As a result, we have always been able to bridge the gap between old and new and reach many people.”
For more information about the Bar-Kays, visit www.thebarkays.com and follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/barkaysmusic) and Twitter (@Barkays). For booking, you may contact LaMarie Entertainment at 901-355-3564.
Sheri D. Neely
The Neely Agency, LLC