Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Remembering Ben Cauley of the Bar-Kays

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge Ben Caulley continued to play professionally after surving the plane crash that killed Otis Redding. - ISAAC WASHINGTON
  • Isaac Washington
  • Ben Caulley continued to play professionally after surving the plane crash that killed Otis Redding.

The legendary Bar-Kays trumpeter Ben Cauley passed away late Monday night at the age of 67. Cauley was most known as the lone survivor of the plane crash that killed Otis Redding and Bar-Kays members Phalon Jones, Carl Cunningham, Jimmy King and Ronnie Caldwell. He was 20 years old when the plane went down. Cauley returned to the crash site at Lake Monona in 2007 for the 40th anniversary. "I knew one day I would be back," he told an AP reporter. "There were a number of times that I thought about it but didn't have the strength. I'm coming this time." 

After the crash, Cauley experienced a lifetime of success as a horn player, re-forming the Bar-Kays with bass player James Alexander and playing on the iconic Isaac Hayes album Hot Buttered Soul. Cauley also toured with Aretha Franklin, and The Doobie Brothers, among others. The Bar-Kays were inducted into the Memphis Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. 



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