(born October 6, 1947) is an American trumpet
player, vocalist, and founding member of the Stax recording
group, The Bar-Kays
. He is the sole survivor of the 1967 plane crash that claimed the lives of soul
singer Otis Redding
and four members of the Bar-Kays.
The Bar-Kays were formed in the mid-1960s, joined the Stax studio by 1966, and were signed on to Stax's subsidiary Volt Records in the beginning of 1967. According to James Alexander
, Cauley was the best dressed of the group, always known to wear a suit, no matter the occasion.
Al Jackson, the drummer with Booker T & the MGs
, took a particular interest in the young members of the Bar-Kays and groomed them to become the second house band for Stax after Booker T and the MGs. As such they appeared as the backing band on numerous recordings for Stax artists such as Otis Redding
, Carla Thomas
, and Sam and Dave
. In fact, Otis Redding took such a liking to the band that he chose them to be his touring back-up band in the summer of 1967.
On December 8, 1967, Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays flew in Redding's twin engine Beechcraft plane to Nashville, Tennessee
for three weekend gigs and used that city as a base to commute to additional gigs. The following day, December 9, they took the Beechcraft to Cleveland where they appeared on Don Webster's 'Upbeat' TV show with Mitch Ryder......