The Bar-Kays is an American soul and funk band, originally from MemphisTennessee.


[hide]*1 early years

Early Years[Edit]Edit

The band was founded in 1966 and originally consisted of James Alexander (bass), Ronnie Caldwell (organ), Ben Cauley (trumpet), Anton Jones (saxophone), Carl Cunningham (drums) and Jimmy King (guitar). The band's name is derived from the Barclay-rum. In 1967 they got signed to Volt, a subsidiary of Stax Records. Al Jackson (the drummer of Booker t. & the M.G. 's) she found a good band. They were the second studio band of Stax Records and played with Sam & Dave and Otis Redding. They made their first album, Soul Finger in own management. The title track from that album was a big hit worldwide.

Plane Crash[Edit]Edit

The band accompanied them from Redding to go along with his tour. During a flight on 10 december 1967 crashed the plane in the frozen lakes of Monono, near Madison,Wisconsin. Everyone was killed except trumpet player Ben Cauley, who survived the crash and bassist James Alexander, who was not involved with the plane because he was waiting for a rental car.

Second start[Edit]Edit

James Alexander and Ben Cauley started together with Allen Jones (the Stax Records-writer and producer who would continue to work with the Bar-Kays until his untimely death in the late eighties), Harvey Henderson (saxophone), Ronnie Gordon (keyboards), Michael Toles (guitar) and drummers Willie Hall and Roy Cunningham once again formed the Bar-Kays. They played along with many Stax Records artists such as Albert King , Rufus Thomasand The Staple Singers as a studio band. They also played with Isaac Hayes on his album Hot buttered Soul. Itself they made the album Gotta Groove. Although the plate much at first album appeared in terms of type of music were the singles no hits. Cunningham and Gordon left the Group down. Winston Stewart (keyboards) became the new Member of the band.

In 1971, the Bar-Kays to the first singer of the group, Larry Dobson. The album Black Rock contained many influences from rock and funk of Sly and the Family Stone andFunkadelic. In August they took part in the 1972 Wattstaxmusic festival. The band was as a result of their action there will be appreciated by the public. Shortly after the soundtrack to Shaft by Isaac Hayes, Cauley and left the band and they were replaced by Scoop Toles Allen (trumpet) and Vernon Burch (guitar). In 1973 came Lloyd Smith (guitar), Michael Beard (drums) and Frank Thompson (trombone) strengthen the band.

The band was funkier and scored a minor hit with Copy Cat that was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's Foxy Lady . Stax Records went bankrupt in 1975 , however, and the band had to look for a new record company.

The years of hits[Edit]Edit

In 1976 they signed a contract with record company Mercury and started the commercially most productive stage of their careers. Too Hot to Stop the album became a hit with the hit single Shake Your Rump to the Funk. They were allowed to play in the preliminary program of George Clinton's P-Funk machine during an extensive tour and thereby they got great success again. With follow-up Flying High on Your Love from 1977 they scored their first gold record. Sherman Guy (drums) and Mark Bynum (keyboards) joined the band. Also were old recordings of Stax Records reissued. Then came more hitalbums; Injoy (1979), with the hit single Move your Boogie BodyAs One (1980), Nightcruising (1981). This latter album contained two hits; Hit and Run and Freaky Behaviour. In 1982 came the album Propositions and the single She talks to me with her body out. All albums were gold, except As One.

In 1983 left Guy and All the group. In 1984 came from Dangerous . Freakshow on the Dance floor " was certified Platinum. Dirty Dancer contained a few influences of Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. Then came Sex-O-Matic.

The break-up of the band[Edit]Edit

In terms of music and changed the time Mercury found the Bar-Kays not more interesting, it went downhill with the hits and some members of the band wanted to go solo. On 5 may 1985 died of a heart attack Allen Jones; the man who could hold the band together because everything he did for the group, from the production to the clothing.

In 1987 came from still Contagious . This album was released by a small selection of the Bar-Kays; Henderson, saxophonist and singer Dodson keyboardist Stewart. Guitarist Smith was officially no longer a member of the band, but he was pictured on the sleeve, which was on the album cover. Thompson (trombone) and Bynum (keys) were mentioned as friends on the album. Certified True still became a top ten hit. A majority of the tracks was produced by Allen Jones, before he died, but the two singles; Certified True and Not Hang Up were the results of the sessions with producer RJ "the Wiz" (Ralph James Rice). Animal from 1989 was the last album that was released in a large composition. Struck by you was released as a single, but Just Like A Teeter-Totter is more striking, because this song was written and produced by Sly Stone and James Mtume.

The contract with Mercury was meanwhile ended. Without a record deal, the members were Henderson Dodson and Stewart busy through the live circuit. In the 1990s it was still too early for old school and Henderson and Stewart stopped with it in 1993.

Dodson and Alexander went after a short break working together. Near Zoo Records they got a contract and Put a little nasty on it came out. Then they went to Basix Records; an independent record label in Memphis. In 1994, the album was 48 Hours , from which the singles and Slide Bar-Kays Mega Mix were drawn. Old and new fans (re-) discovered the band. In 1996, Everybody wants that love and a Best ofcd, and in 1998 came a Greatest hits from.

Thompson would be a jazz-cd release in the spring of 2003. Stewart would accompany his twin sons in their band. Smith had a studio in Philadelphia and played in the band of his father with it. Henderson was account manager. Guy played in a singing group and owned a contractors company. Bynum had a studio in Memphis. Beard played in a local band from ColumbusOhio. All lived in AlbuquerqueNew Mexico, did concert promotions and was manager in a K-Mart.

House Party came out In 2007, an album of old songs and six new songs. This album was made by three members of the band: Dodson, Alexander and Stewart.



Album (s) with any charts in the

the Dutch Album Top 100

Date of


Date of




Number Of


Soul Finger 1967 -
Gotta Groove 1969 -
Black rock 1971 -
Do You See What I See? 1973 -
Cold Blooded 1974 -
Too Hot To Stop 1976 -
Flying High On Your Love 1978 -
Money Talks 1978 -
Light of Life 1978 -
Injoy 1979 -
As One 1980 -
Nightcruising 1981 -
Propositions 1982 -
Dangerous 1984 -
Banging the Wall 1985 -
Contagious 1987 -
Animal 1989 -
48 Hours 1994 -
Best of Bar-Kays 1996 - Compilation album
House Party 2007 -
R & B Soul 2007 - Live album


Single (s) with any charts in the

the Dutch Top 40

Date of


Date of




Number Of


Soul Finger 1967 09-09-1967 11 10 No. 8 in the Single Top 100
Sex-o-Matic 1984 01-12-1984 tip6 - No. 46 in the Single Top 100

Radio 2 Top 2000[Edit]Edit

Number (s) with markings

in the Radio 2 Top 2000

' 99 ' 00 ' 01 ' 02 ' 03 ' 04 ' 05 ' 06 ' 07 ' 08 ' 09 ' 10 ' 11 ' 12 ' 13
Soul Finger 1958 - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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