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Wednesday, May 1, 2019




Memphis native Larry Dodson, the multi-gold and platinum selling singer, songwriter, and producer who for almost five decades was the lead singer of The Bar-Kays, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Lemoyne-Owen College on May 11. This honor will be bestowed upon him in recognition of his contributions to the music industry, support of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and as a co-founder of the Allen Jones/Marjorie Barringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship.

Larry D.’s career has rewarded him with 10 top ten singles, 10 top ten albums, five gold albums, and one platinum album from the 30 albums that he has recorded with The Bar-Kays. He has proven that he is a musical icon. Having been inducted in the R&B Hall of Fame, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame; and honored with a music note on world famous Beale Street in Memphis, and with pieces of his stage garments exhibited in Stax Museum, the Smithsonian Institute, and in museums all over the world, Larry continues to leave his legacy in the music industry. Larry D. gives back to the community by supporting HBCUs through The Bar-Kays Foundation whose mission statement is simply “to help those who cannot help themselves.” Larry D. is truly a living legend.

LeMoyne-Owen College has been the sole recipient of the Allen Jones/Marjorie Barringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship, housed at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis in support of Shelby County Schools students since 1996.  Allen Jones was the producer and manager for the Bar-Kays until his demise and the late Marjorie Barringer, a retired educator, was Jones’ mother. They both instilled in Dodson the importance of education and utilizing his celebrity status as a platform to create opportunities for and to give back to the less fortunate.  

LeMoyne-Owen College is a four-year liberal arts college that provides a transformative experience for students of all ages with a goal of preparing them for future professional endeavors.
LeMoyne-Owen College campus is located within the urban heart of Memphis, yielding a rich cultural vibrancy to our institution. We’re situated in the heart of the historic Soulsville district, where legendary artists once recorded soul classics at Stax Records. Our institution has been a part of the community since opening our doors on Walker Avenue in 1914, with a proud tradition of educating notable alumni, including doctors, lawyers, and politicians.
Notably, we are also Memphis’ only historically black college, and are proud to be one of just over 100 such institutions remaining nation-wide. LeMoyne-Owen College is accredited body; we are accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC) to award the baccalaureate degree.

Dodson, as a solo artist now, unfortunately the concert was cancelled in Memphis and the surrounding areas for this historical celebration performance at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis on 255 N. Main Street on May 25 at 7 p.m. as part of his Return to Burn Tour with special guest ConFunkShun. Anyone who purchased tickets can get a refund at the Canon Center box office.

“We have supported Lemoyne-Owen College for years and never expected anything in return. I was completely surprised by this honor. This is truly a blessing. And I look forward to sharing this by celebrating with my family, friends and my fans at my concert, which is going to be epic,” said Dodson.
We do not know full details but it is safe to say the event was very important to Mr. Dodson and the cancellation is a surprise to us all.

Dodson recently returned from a performance during the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Denny’s. Tom Joyner created the fundraiser and works with Dodson because of their mutual interest to support students in school at HBCUs. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs.

The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments, an capacity-building enhancements.

The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 19-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.

For more information including upcoming tour dates for Larry D., visit:

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For booking, please call 901-355-3564 or email:

If you are interested in interview opportunities, features, or photos please contact:

Sheri Neely at 714-365-6441 or email:

For inquiries about Tom Joyner Foundation please click on the link below.

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