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Larry Dodson

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Information about Larry Dodson

Profile image of Larry Dodson

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Lobster
Favorite Time of Year:
Early Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
God Is Able.

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1951
Birth Location:
Memphis, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Lobster
Favorite Time of Year:
Early Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
God Is Able.

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1951
Birth Location:
Memphis
See how Larry Dodson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

R&B singer Larry Dodson was born in 1951, and started his first vocal group, called the Temprees, when he was eleven years old. The Temprees went on to sign with Stax Records and record several hit songs, but by then Dodson had left the band to sing with The Bar-Kays and recorded his first record with them, called Black Rock .

The Bar-Kays had been formed in 1966, and by the time Dodson joined them they were already the number-two house band at Stax Records. None of the members of the Bar-Kays were formally educated in music, but that did not prevent them from being highly successful while writing many of their own songs. They sang backup for Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, and other popular soul singers under the Stax Record label and recorded many hit songs in their own right, including “ Soul Finger ” and “ Son of Shaft ”. They performed “ Son of Shaft ” at the Wyattstax music festival in 1972, and were featured in the Golden Globe-nominated documentary Wyattstax made about the concert.

After Stax Records went bankrupt in 1975, The Bar-Kays signed with Mercury Records and the band went on to have twenty-three singles on the R&B charts from 1976 to 1987. The Bar-Kays’ music has been featured in the soundtrack to several films, including Spies Like Us and Superbad . The group broke up in 1993, and reformed a year later with Dodson and one other member of the original band. They continued to tour and write songs, enjoying a renewed popularity.

Dodson is the co-founder of the Right Now Records record label, along with The Bar-Keys founding member James Alexander. Dodson is also a Downs Syndrome awareness advocate and serves on the board of directors of the Downs Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South. He wrote and helped organize the recording of the song “A Message from Memphis” by a large group of well-known Memphis-born musicians for the benefit of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake there. Proceeds from sale of the song and the short documentary about the song’s recording were donated to various charities in Haiti, including the American Red Cross.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larry Dodson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson describes his mother's upbringing and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson talks about his maternal family's roots in Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls his mother's emphasis on education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson describes his maternal family's move from Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson describes his father's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson recalls his paternal great aunt who passed for white
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larry Dodson remembers his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson recalls his father's musical talent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson describes his home life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson recalls his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson recalls his early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls his father's friendship with B.B. King
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson recalls his early aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson talks about his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson recalls his early interest in music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson describes his early impressions of blues music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Larry Dodson recalls the role of music in his community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Larry Dodson recalls the television programs of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Larry Dodson recalls the popular singers of his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson recalls the influence of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson recalls his encounters with Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson recalls the formation of The Temprees
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson remembers The Temprees' rehearsals and performances
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson recalls his difficulties in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson remembers the plane crash that killed Otis Redding in 1967
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson recalls being recruited to join The Bar-Kays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson recalls describes the relationship between Otis Redding and The Bar-Kays
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson talks about the artists at Stax Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson remembers Ben Branch
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson remembers Isaac Hayes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson describes the music studios in Memphis, Tennessee and Muscle Shoals, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson recalls the culture at Stax Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson recalls joining The Bar-Kays
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson talks about the 'Wattstax' documentary film
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls the closure of Stax Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson describes his songwriting process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson talks about his partnership with James Alexander
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson talks about earning a living as a musician
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson talks about the resurgence of soul music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson remembers Wilson Pickett
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Dodson talks about his relationship with his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Dodson describes his recent ventures in the music industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Dodson shares his advice for young musicians
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Dodson describes his concerns for the music industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Dodson recalls his role in the earthquake relief effort in Haiti
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Dodson describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Dodson reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Dodson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Larry Dodson talks about his daughter
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Larry Dodson reflects upon his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Larry Dodson describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Dodson narrates his photographs