The Bar-Kays are still on the road and putting on a Freakshow for fans

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Bar-Kays and some of their musical friends will be celebrating the groups 50th anniversary when they take the stage at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis Thursday night. It's a fitting tribute to one of the hardest working bands in show business.

WREG recently caught up with the Bar-Kays in Shreveport, Louisiana, where they gave us an exclusive and VIP backstage pass to one of their shows and what life is like for them on the road.

In Shreveport, more than 13,000 fans came from miles around to see the legendary Bar-Kays. On this night, the band was the featured act at the Black Rodeo, which showcases cowboys and bull riding.

James Alexander is the founder and bass guitarist with the Bar-Kays

"Our shows are totally different. We are diverse. We play all sorts of venues, " Alexander said.

The band plays a lot of venues each year as they perform hits such as "Freakshow," "Hit & Run," "Attitudes," "Holy Ghost," and Grown Folks, and they're showing no signs of slowing down.

Larry Dodson is the band's leader and lead singer.

"If we are gone three days then there is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you leave home catch a flight to St. Louis and play, and then Saturday you go to Milwaukee and then go to Boston," Dodson said.

Backstage, the group sampled some Louisiana cooking before the big show, during which they served fans a smorgasbord of their music and live performance.

"In order to stay competitive we rehearse all the time to make sure we give a 75-minute show that fans will never forget," Dodson said.

The Bar-Kays say it's been an incredible 50 years for them. Before each show, they pray and give thanks for their fellow band members, family, and fans.

"We have a great support group around us. We are still having a ball. We might have lost a step, but as the old folks say we can still make it do what it do, " Alexander said.

"We still have a great show whether we have a record that's hot or not. We always have a great show," Dodson said.

After the show, it's still all about the fans as the group takes time to meet concertgoers and sign autographs. It's still big part of what the Bar-Kays are all about after 50 years of being on the road.

"We love it and we could still do it...every other night," Dodson said with a laugh.

The Bar-Kays 50th anniversary concert featuring George Clinton, Eddie Levert, and other guests is this Thursday at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. The red carpet reception is at 7 and showtime is at 8. Tickets are $85 and can be bought through Ticketmaster.

WREG News Channel 3 is a proud sponsor of this event.

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