(Memphis) They are music royalty of R&B and Funk and now Bar-Kays founder James Alexander and lead singer Larry Dodson are preparing for a performance fit for not a king, but a U.S. president.
“We are playing for The President of the United States. How big does that get? It’s the biggest of the big,” Alexander said.
“You know it’s just now actually sinking into my bones this undertaking of exactly what we are getting ready to do,” Dodson said.
The Bar-Kays will perform at one of President Barack Obama’s inaugural galas in Washington, D.C. They were invited by Senator Mattie Hunter who replaced President Obama in the Illinois Senate.
“We didn’t seek this. They sought us out. There were two other groups, the Isley Brothers and the O’Jays were in the running. So we’re honored to have been chosen,” Dodson said.
They’re also honored The President appreciates Memphis music.
“We just found out that The President is a definite Old School soul. So, we are going to give him a big dose of Old School, Memphis style,” Alexander said.
That means they’ll do a 75 minute set consisting of classic Bar-Kays hits, Stax Records songs and their recent top 10 smash called ‘Grown Folks’, but they admit being at the gala will be a crowning achievement in their career.
“We’ve had moments, we’ve had WattStax, 100,000 people. We’ve had big concerts, but nothing like this,” Dodson said.
The Bar-Kays hope their songs will have The President and First Lady on their feet dancing to music made in Memphis.
“This is a great way to begin the year and begin our 44th year in the business and we won’t let you down Memphis,” Dodson said.
The Bar-Kays say they’ve been assured that The President will be at their Gala because it’s organized by dignitaries and friends of the Obama’s from Chicago, The President’s hometown.