may be available for your next special event!
Bar-Kays began as a backing band for Stax, and recorded their own hit "Soul Finger" in 1967. Just as their career was beginning to take off, all of the Bar-Kays, except bassist James Alexander and trumpeter Ben Cauley, were killed in the plane crash that claimed Otis Redding.
After a period of mourning, Alexander reformed the group and they supported
Isaac Hayes on his classic
"Hot Buttered Soul,"
"Shaft," "Movement" and "To Be Continued" LPs. The high profile of the Hayes records assured the revival of their career, and they came back with "Son Of Shaft" in 1971, a top 10 hit. Now consisting of Alexander with Willie Hall (drums), Winston Stewart (organ), Barry Wilkins (guitar), Vernon Burch (guitar), Harvey Henderson (sax) and vocalist Larry Dodson, the Bar-Kays developed a reputation as a fierce live outfit, which was briefly documented on the Wattstax
Once they were free to record for a new label, they quickly signed to Mercury. "Shake Your Rump To The Funk" kicked off a long string of popularity for the band, reaching #5 in 1976. For the rest of their career, they became expert stylists, doing their variation on whatever style was popular at the moment. While that meant their LPs were less adventurous than before, it also guaranteed chart presence in the form of hit singles. "Let's Have Some Fun," "Move Your Boogie Body," "Hit And
Run," and "She Talks To Me With Her Body" took them from the disco era through the techno-funk of the early 80s. In 1978, a forgotten session from Stax, "Holy Ghost," was released and became a funk classic, despite being completed nearly four years earlier.
They adapted to the advent of rap music with "Freakshow On the Dance Floor," a song from the
"Breakin'" soundtrack that was their biggest hit, peaking at #2. The jams kept coming: "Your Place Or Mine," "Certified True," and their stab at go-go, "Struck By You." They kept touring but recorded less frequently in the 90's. Still, the band marches on, representing Memphis soul as they have for the past four decades.
Hit songs include --
- Move Your Boogie Body
- Soul Finger
- Hit And Run
- Shake Your Rump To The Funk
- Boogie Body Land
- Too Hot To Stop
- Certified True
- Do It (Let Me See You Shake)
- Holy Ghost
- Son of Shaft
- Let's Have Some Fun
- Struck On You
- Your Place or Mine
- She Talks To Me With Her Body
- Dirty Dancer
- Today Is The Day
- I'll Dance
The Bar-Kays may be available for your next special event!
.Funk. / xFunk
.Instrumental Rock. / InstrumentalRock
.Soul. / xSoul
.Memphis Soul. / MemphisSoul
x60s, x70s, x80s, x90s, x00s
Formed: ..in Tennessee / formed nTennessee
Formed: ..in Memphis / formed MemphisTN
Formed: in 1966
Based: ..in US
Based: ..in Tennessee / based nTennessee
Based: ..in Memphis /