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Rufus Thomas

Biography

If at any point in your life you have uttered the phrase or attempted to dance "the funky chicken," then sit down and write Rufus Thomas a thank you note. The self-professed "Oldest Living Teenager" was a forefather to Funk as well as the model for the Memphis Sound. Not heart-wrenching but just plain wacky, Thomas' songs were usually about "do"-ing something (i.e., the dog, the chicken, the penguin, the monkey, the lemur, etc.). This would be accompanied by Rufus flailing about in his outrageous clothing. His bare-bones Funk proved an early hitmaker for Sun and a constant source of revenue for Stax. As the "dance craze" craze wore thin, Rufus took his old job back as a local DJ, content with being the elder statesman for general silliness.
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