MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The sound of music is something Larry Dodson has been surrounded by for decades. But this time his music has a different tune to it. A different band and now, one solo artist.
You may know Dodson from his role as lead singer of the R&B funk band, The Bar-Kays. Last year, after 30 albums and 40 years with his crew, he hung up his mic.
But he just couldn’t stay away from the music.
“I really thought that I could really retire and just maybe call it quits and ride off into the sunset, spend some time fishing and doing other things.”
Those retirement plans sounded good at first, but they just couldn’t compare to time spent with fans.
Now as a new solo artist Dodson finds himself a bit nervous at times wondering if fans will likes his new music.
“You know Just being accepted as Larry D now.”
But one thing he is certain about is his love for education and dedication to students, especially at LeMoyne-Owen College.
“Those are some special people at LeMoyne.”
For more than 10 years he’s helped send students to the college through a scholarship foundation. Later this month he will receive an honorary doctoral degree for his contributions to the music industry and all that he’s given to historically black colleges.
“I`m just humbled by it. I`m humbled by it,” Dodson said. “I`ll have a handle on my name.. Doctor.. so you know, it`s very very cool.”
But that`s not the only honor making that day special. His wife, who has been by his side for almost 50 years, will walk the stage too. She will receive her degree in business management from Southwest Community College.
Dodson has always valued family. In fact, that was his big reason for giving up music. But it’s something that he can’t let go of and something he will continue serving his community through.