The Bar-Kay’s Soul Finger; When Instrumentals Were Fun!

The Bar-Kays: Circa Booker T & The MGs Era. You Can Hear This Through The Guitar Style For One Thing.

The Bar-Kay‘s Soul Finger was written by the whole band, (credited to: Jones/Cunningham/Cauley/Caldwell/Alexander) while recording a cover version of J.J. Jackson‘s It’s Alright.

You can really hear the similar chord riff between Soul Finger and It’s Alright. Apparently, the little voices were from kids brought in who were playing outside the studio; they were bought off with some Coca Cola. This, was suggested by Stax songwriters Isaac Hayes and David Porter.

Let’s go back to 1967 and shout along with those Memphis kids, SOUL FINGER

Personnel as determined: Jimmy King guitar; Ronnie Caldwell organ; Phalon Jones saxophone; Ben Cauley trumpet; James Alexander bass; Carl Cunningham drums.

Now, listen to J.J. Jackson‘s It’s Alright (another fave of mine) from 1967; notice the similarities in guitar riff to Soul Finger. Can you hear it?


We were, of course, THE garageband generation.* We started the whole three chord, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and drum thing. Looking back to the music of those times, things seemed to be less complicated but, our desire to get proficient was insatiable. Those of us who couldn’t keep up with the skill needed for the evolving music, simply dropped off the radar. Me? Well, I just couldn’t get enough! Things haven’t changed!

*When a doctor checks out my ears with his scope, this is a HUGE part of what he sees.


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