After the first time I heard Elmo & the Shades, I found myself going back to Neil’s Bar every Wednesday for almost 3 months. Elmo’s band is made up of musicians from Memphis who have played with everybody from Jimi Hendrix to Elvis Presley. One of those musicians happened to be trumpet player Ben Cauley. I can vividly remember the reverence I felt when I learned that he was the only survivor of the plane crash that took the life of Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kay’s.
Ben’s passing last September left a void not only in the lives of his friends and family, but also in Memphis music. I still feel his loss on a personal level each time I hear his recordings or talk with those close to him. Ben taught me a lot about what it means to be a true musician not only through the dedication to his craft, but also by showing me and many others an endless amount of kindness and support.
I’m very grateful to the staff at Stax because they have graciously allowed us to film this music video as one of Ben’s last recorded songs in a place that was very special to him. I hope you enjoy the song we made together as much as I enjoyed the privilege of getting to know a real Memphis legend, and, more importantly, a truly incredible person.
Crockett Hall is a songwriter and musician based in Memphis, TN. His solo debut is currently being tracked at High / Low Recording and is expected in the spring of 2016. All proceeds from the purchase of “I’ll Be True” benefit the Soulsville Foundation. Purchase the song here.
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