MEMFIS, Tennessee – James Alexander, the last living member of The Bar-Kays, who supported soul music star Otis Redding, will rename the street in his honor in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, the Stax Museum reported.
Stafford Avenue in Memphis, located next to the Stax Records studios, where he recorded a soul-funk band, on April 24 is scheduled to get a new name: James E. Alexander Avenue.
The bassist is the founder and last live member of Bar-Kays. Four members of the band and Reading were killed when their plane crashed into an icy lake in Wisconsin on December 10, 1967. They were on their way to a show in Madison when the plane crashed.
One of the band members, trumpeter Ben Collie, survived the crash. Alexander was not on the flight. He boarded a commercial flight because the plane could only accommodate a certain number of people, Stacks said.
The Bar-Kays made their first hit in 1967 with “Soul Finger”, then the band became a touring band of Reading.
After the accident, Alexander and Kohl re-formed the band with the addition of soloist Larry Dodson. Alexander played bass guitar in “Theme From Shaft” written by Isaac Hayes. The song won an Oscar in 1971. Koli has since died.
The resolution on the renaming of streets was sponsored by Memphis City Council MP J. B. Smiley.
“I am absolutely delighted with the renaming of the street on which I grew up,” Alexander said in a statement.
The Stax Museum is housed in a building that housed Stax Records, which released music by Reading, Hayes, Sam and Dave, The Staples Singers, Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Booker T. and MGs and others.