The Barkays were formed in 1966, inspired by
classic Memphis soul instrumental bands like
Booker T. & the MGs.
They released their first single, "Soul Finger," for Stax/Volt Records in early 1967.
The record made the Top 20 Pop and Top 5 R&B charts.
enlisted them as his backing band.
Unfortunately, en route to a gig on December 10,
1967, four members of the Barkays were killed in the
same plane crash that claimed
Remarkably, the surviving Barkays reformed the band, which went on to
become a popular funk act, consistently scoring R&B hits
through the end of the 1980s.
The most successful phase of their career began
after they signed with Mercury in 1976. Their label debut,
Too Hot to Stop,
charted, spawning the smash single "Shake Your Rump to the Funk." The hits kept coming with
Flying High on Your Love
(1977), their first gold album;
(1978), which produced another Top 10 hit, "Holy
Injoy (1979), featuring the Top 5 single "Move Your Boogie Body;" 1980's As One;
Nightcruising (which generated two hits - "Hit and Run" and "Freaky
Behavior"), and 1982's Propositions,
which contained two more hits: "Do It (Let Me See You Shake)" and "She Talks to
Me With Her Body." 1984's Dangerous featured one of the Barkays’ biggest hits, "Freakshow on the Dancefloor,"
plus two more R&B charters, "Dirty Dancer" and "Sex-O-Matic."
The band’s last R&B Top 10 hit was "Certified True."
Animal was the Barkays’ last Mercury album. The band went on hiatus when their contract with the
label was up.
The Barkays’ 40-year career produced 27 albums
(5 gold and 1 platinum), 37 singles (28 in the Top Ten)
and membership in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Lead singer Larry Dodson and bassist James Alexander
rekindled the group in the 1990s, and they continue performing
Hey Y’all, and
My Lady (Stepper’s