13 Comments (since 25 Sep 2015)
"It's been a pleasure flagging up all these different artistes. They deserved a decent send-off. As does TIMJ, so no histrionics from me. This is the final Jam from RIP. I will be back with this feature on "God's Jukebox" at http://www.godsjukebox.com/selections/username/Rest_In_Peace/. Best wishes to all."
Benjamin Cauley was born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, on October 3rd 1947. He learned to play the trumpet while at school, and formed a band with guitarist Jimmy King, saxophonist Phalon Jones, drummer Carl Cunningham, keyboardist Ronnie Caldwell, and bassist James Alexander, calling themselves the 'Imperials', though they later changed to 'The Bar-Kays' in the mid-1960s. He started attending LeMoyne College in 1965, before leaving to become a professional musician.
As a group, 'The Bar-Kays' then joined the 'Stax' studio by 1966, signing on to the subsidiary 'Volt Records' at the beginning of 1967. Al Jackson Junior, the drummer with 'Booker T & the MGs', took a particular interest in the young members of 'The Bar-Kays', and groomed them to become the 'second house' band for 'Stax' after 'the MGs'.
As such, they appeared as the backing band on numerous recordings for 'Stax' artists such as Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, and 'Sam and Dave', and backed Isaac Hayes on his landmark album, "Hot Buttered Soul". In fact, Otis Redding took such a liking to the band that he chose them to be his touring back-up band in the summer of 1967. However, during that tour, a plane carrying Redding and many of 'The Bar-Kays' (including Cauley but not Alexander) crashed in Wisconsin.
Cauley was the sole survivor of the crash. Despite the tragedy, Cauley and Alexander regrouped with a new 'Bar-Kays' line-up in the 1970s, including Larry Dodson as lead singer. Cauley performed regularly at the 'Stax Music Academy', and one of his last performances with 'The Bar-Kays' was at their 'Memphis Music Hall of Fame' induction ceremony in 2013. He also overcame a major stroke to perform, until more recently, with the 'soul' group the 'Bo-Keys'.
Ben Cauley died in Memphis on September 21st 2015, aged 67. A family man with a deep religious faith, he leaves five daughters and two sons. http://wreg.com/2015/09/22/bar-kays-founder-ben-cauley-has-died/
Thank you for all your work here.
Thanks for all your kind comments over my time on TIMJ, and I hope it's been an interesting feature for many of you. As I have said, it will continue over at GJ (http://www.godsjukebox.com/selections/username/Rest_In_Peace) almoste immediately! Tomorrow morning, I will be setting an Eternal Jam which obviously cannot just focus on one (dated) obituary, so I have chosen an unrelated one - it's a song sung by my niece's school on a professionally-produced CD, which I have made into a video. :)
@shitsterbauer Ta very much!! :) And yours.
Thanks for this and the great obituary jams you've done covering just about every possible artist around the world. Respect and best wishes dear Lee.
I really admire the effort you've put into this.... Long may it continue! Cheers Lee
@myrtle @soorajsoman (For RIP.) Thank you so much, on behalf of me and me!! :)
Big thanks for all you have done as @rest_in_peace lest we forget those who came before the others. A plus.