It's been 50 years since iconic musical collective The Bar-Kays debuted as the house band for Stax Records. And in celebration of their 50th anniversary, the group is giving back to the community.
A large group of family, friends, and supporters gathered inside a room in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music (926 E McLemore) on Thursday, March 13th, as the group revealed the launch of their "Fab Five Charities" fund. The initiative will benefit five entities: the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis, United Way of the Mid-South, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Stax Music Academy, and the Allen Jones/Marjorie Barringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship Fund.
“We’ve done a lot of things in our career, but this is probably the most important thing that we’ve ever done," said James Alexander, co-founder and bass guitarist for the Bar-Kays. "A portion of the proceeds of everything that we’re going to be doing will go back to the Fab Five, and that’s really important to us. It’s a blessing for us to be able to live long enough to be able to give back like this. This is so rewarding to us."
The Bar-Kays announced their upcoming show at at Minglewood Hall on April 4th and 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala in December. The gala will take place at both the Cook Convention Center and Canon Center of the Performing Arts. Fab Five recipients will be awarded funding during the event.
The Bar-Kays also debuted their latest single "Up and Down" during the press conference. Their next album is slated to be released this fall.
“We have miles to climb. We’re not through," said Larry Dodson, lead singer of The Bar-Kays. "We’re in phase two. Don’t let 50 be a big word for you all. God has given us some strength, and we have a lot of logs to throw in this fire. We’re smarter, we’re wiser, and we’re closer to the Lord than we’ve ever been. Just watch what we’re going to be doing.”