The Bar-Kays' Larry Dodson, Sr. to Retire After 47 Years

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Larry Dodson Sr, the lead singer of legendary soul group The Bar-Kays for the past 47 years, will retire at the end of 2017.

The Bar-Kays were icons of Stax. The original band backed Otis Redding and was with Redding on the fatal day December 10, 1967 when the plane crash took the lives of all Bar-Kays members except trumpeter Ben Cauley, who survived the crash and bass player James Alexander, who was on another plane.

Cauley (who died in 2015) and Alexander rebuilt the band, recruiting Larry Dodson from fellow Stax band The Temprees.

“I love Larry…he is like a brother and I wish him the best in his retirement,” said Alexander.

“It has been a blast…and I am fortunate to do what I enjoy for almost five decades with The Bar-Kays,” said Dodson. “The band will not be breaking up and will continue to perform for our fans for years to come.”

The Bar-Kays will perform in Memphis on June 16 during the 25th Anniversary of the Juneteenth Urban Music Festival presented by Next Millennium Entertainment. Doors open at 8 PM and the show starts at 9 PM at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. Fans will have the opportunity to enjoy Dodson and Alexander together on stage one final time in their hometown. There will also be a special guest performance by ConFunkShun.

Dodson and Alexander will keep The Bar-Kays legacy alive as they search for a new lead singer for the band. The Bar-Kays will then begin rehearsing for their 2018 Spring tour with their new lead singer. Visit www.thebar-kays.com beginning May 1, 2017 for further instructions on lead singer auditions for The Bar-Kays.

“The new lead singer that we select has some big shoes to fill,” said Alexander.

The Bar-Kays had their first hit with Soul Finger in 1967. The song also featured in the 1985 Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase movie Spies Like Us.


The band also backed Isaac Hayes on his classic ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ album of 1972.


The song ‘Freakshow On The Dancefloor’ was featured in the 1984 movie ‘Breaking’.


The last album for The Bar-Kays was ‘Grown Folks’ in 2012.


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