Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

Take-Me-Back-Tuesday!–Larry Dodson and Rick James

on June 26, 2012

Welcome to a new feature on donnacterrell–Take-Me-Back-Tuesday! Why Tuesday? I like alliteration. And I also love the music of back-in-the-day! My day! When music was such a part of my life–waking up with the radio, taping songs from the radio, buying records and tapes, blasting music throughout the house (much to the chagrin of my father). I even deejayed on my college radio station. Then I could equate a song with every event of my life. New boyfriend? There’s a song for that. Break up with him? There’s a song for that. Songs that remind me of pledging my sorority. Songs that remind me of certain high school parties and using fake IDs to get into college parties. I used to know every song on the JET Top 20 and had most of the albums.  Now, the music stations I ate and slept by have been replaced by news stations and sports talk, and I’ll admit, I now know very little about the world of R&B I so loved. But that’s okay! Life changes, right? So we’re going to revisit some things and I hope you’ll have as much fun as I know I’m going to have.

Everybody knows and loves Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross–a moment of silence for them. But what about a couple of under-rated guys–funksters Larry Dodson of The Bar-Kays and ol’ slick Rick James? They were the wild ones. They were the dudes a girl wouldn’t dare take home to her father. The Bar-Kays never won a Grammy and for most people I know, you either liked them or you didn’t. Everybody has something by Rick James in their collection. These bad boys actually had very nice voices on slow and mid-tempo cuts.

I love Rick James singing Oh What A Night (1984) and Happy (1982) with Teena Marie.

And who can forget Rick with crooner Smokey Robinson on Ebony Eyes (1983)? That song also had a pretty nice video to go with it. I also love his voice on Moonchild (1985).

Now this guy was the one Rick James would study before he became “Rick James.” Larry Dodson, lead singer of The Bar-Kays, has a voice that makes you want to, well, put it like this–I’m sure there are a whole lot of Anticipation (1983) babies out there!

Now on Running In and Out of My Life (1979), Larry doesn’t sing lead, but his “oooh babies” in the background makes you want more of him.

Rick James and Larry Dodson may not be as “pretty” as the Teddys of the world, but they definitely have an appeal!

Unfortunately, we lost Rick in 2004. But Larry Dodson is still with us (and is quite handsome these days!), and The Bar-Kays still perform. They recently performed for the troops in Iraq along with fellow funk bands Confunkshun and The Dazz Band.


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