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Thursday, September 18, 2008

SOULSVILLE FOUNDATION, CITY OF MEMPHIS CELEBRATE "BEN CAULEY DAY" AND ESTABLISH BEN CAULEY HONORARY SCHOLARSHIP AT THE STAX MUSIC ACADEMY

Stax Records and Memphis music legend Ben Cauley. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.


Left to Right: B.J. Wade, Ben Cauley, Karla Redding-Andrews, Zelma Redding, & Deanie Parker.


Last Friday, September 12th, was a very special day for all of us here at the Soulsville Foundation and for the entire City of Memphis, not to mention the music-loving world.

As many of you know, Ben Cauley was the only member of the Bar-Kays aboard Otis Redding's plane to survive the horrible crash on December 10, 1967 that also took Otis's life and that of his pilot. Since that time, Ben has been not only a Memphis music tradition and institution, but also an inspiration for generations of young musicians.


On Friday, Memphis attorney B.J. Wade and his associates at the Memphis law firm of Glassman, Edwards, Wade & Wyatt settled an unrelated class action lawsuit in Circuit Court Division VI at the Shelby County Courthouse and allocated funds from the settlement to several Memphis organizations, including the University of Memphis Shool of Law and Memphis Area Legal Services.


In addition to those, Mr. Wade, a longtime fan and friend of Ben Cauley and champion of Ben's amazing story, allocated a gift of $100,000 over the next five years to establish the "Ben Cauley Honorary Scholarship" at the Stax Music Academy. Before the court proceedings, a reception was held at the law firm's office. Attending both the reception and courtroom proceedings were Ben and his family, along with many, many friends and Stax Family members, including Zelma and Karla Redding-Andrews (Otis Redding's widow and daughter), Bar-Kays members James Alexander and Larry Dodson; Mable John, David Porter, and many others.


We are extremely grateful to Mr. Wade for making all of this possible, and to Ben for being such a hero to us and so many others. This scholarship will help countless children in the years to come as we mentor them through music education and unique performance opportunities, much as Stax Records did for Ben and his bandmates more than 40 years ago.


Thanks to all who participated, attended, and helped us celebrate what Mayors WW Herenton and AC Wharton proclaimed "Ben Cauley Day" in Memphis and Shelby County.'


BEN, WE LOVE YOU!

4 comments:

shuronda said...

I am Ben's 2nd daughter (shuronda) and we are so very greatful to you all as well as BJ Wade for making this day so honorable for my dad. He is still in aw of the entire day and I just wanted to say thank you thank you and thank you.

Very Greatly,

Shuronda Cauley

lee said...

Mr. Ben, "Pops," me & Val, we love you man. This is from the heart. You truly deserve this because you have given so much to so many. Your time has just begun. As the word say, the first will be last and the last shall be first, it's your time!
Your son & Daughter
Lee & Val

Larry Hodges said...

Hey Ben,

This is something you truly deserve!!!!!!!!!!

I have always considered it to be a great honor to have had you as a friend over the years!!!!!!!

You are the best my man!!!!!!!


Larry Hodges

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