Tuesday, September 22, 2015

And now Ben Cauley of the Bar-Kays

Yet another star of Ponderosa Stomps past - trumpeter Ben Cauley - has died. Aged 67, Ben was the only member of the Bar-Kays to survive the plane crash that killed Otis Redding and four other members of the band in 1967. Ben and other members of the Bar-Kays had earlier backed many Stax artists, including Otis, Carla Thomas and Sam and Dave and the band enjoyed great success with Soul Finger. After the crash he reunited with James Alexander, who wasn't on the plane, and the band continued to back Stax artists such as Isaac Hayes and the Staple Singers, and recorded successfuly themselves.
Ben retired from music after suffering a stroke but came back strongly and the Bar-Kays played at festivals in the US and Europe, including the Stomp and Porretta. He was in London last year taking part in Take Me To The River (pictured above), a show featuring Otis Clay, William Bell and Bobby Rush. Yet another sixties link with Stax has passed and he will be sadly missed.
Here is Ben at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2008.
And here he is at the Porretta Soul Festival in 2012.


At 8:05 pm , Blogger john marriott said...

Really sad news. Considered it a bit of a privilege to see him in Poretta and elsewhere after all he went through. I also remember when we were going home from the Stax Comes Home week in 2003 in Memphis finding out he had a restaurant in the other terminal to the one we were flying back to Manchester from. We didn't have much time but me, Mo,Jan Barker and Colin Dilnot raced over to it.Found him actually playing to a near deserted restauant, took a couple of photos then raced back to get the flight.


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