Rufus Thomas

~ Person


Rufus Thomas, Jr. (March 26, 1917 – December 15, 2001) was an American rhythm and blues, funk, soul and blues singer, songwriter, dancer, DJ and comic entertainer from Memphis, Tennessee. He recorded for several labels including Chess and Sun in the 1950s, before becoming established in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records. He is best known for his novelty dance records including "Walking the Dog" (1963), "Do the Funky Chicken" (1969) and "(Do the) Push and Pull" (1970). According to the Mississippi Blues Commission, "Rufus Thomas embodied the spirit of Memphis music perhaps more than any other artist, and from the early 1940s until his death... occupied many important roles in the local scene."

His career began as a tap dancer, vaudeville performer, and master of ceremonies in the 1930s, and he later also worked as a disc jockey on radio station WDIA in Memphis, both before and after his recordings became successful. He remained active into the 1990s, and as a performer and recording artist was often billed as "The World's Oldest Teenager". He was the father of singers Carla Thomas (with whom he recorded duets) and Vaneese Thomas, and keyboard player Marvell Thomas.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1963 Walking the Dog Rufus Thomas 2
1970 Do the Funky Chicken Rufus Thomas 4
1972 Did You Heard Me? Rufus Thomas 3
1974 Crown Prince of Dance Rufus Thomas 1
1988 That Woman Is Poison! Rufus Thomas 1
Funky Chicken Rufus Thomas 1
Just Because I'm Leavin' Rufus Thomas 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Can't Get Away From This Dog Rufus Thomas 1
1993 Best Of Rufus Thomas 1
2006 Stax Profiles Rufus Thomas 1
2007 The Very Best Of Rufus Thomas 1
2007 The Platinum Collection Rufus Thomas 1
Chronicle Rufus Thomas & Carla Thomas 1
Did You Heard Me? / Crown Prince of Dance Rufus Thomas 1
Rufus Thomas Rufus Thomas 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1953 Tiger Man (King of the Jungle) / Save That Money Rufus Thomas, Jr. 1
1963 Walking the Dog / You Said Rufus Thomas 1
1964 Can Your Monkey Do the Dog / I Want to Get Married Rufus Thomas 1
1964 Jump Back / All Night Worker Rufus Thomas 1
1968 Memphis Train Rufus Thomas 1
1971 The Breakdown Rufus Thomas 1
1972 Itch and Scratch Rufus Thomas 1
1992 Get Up Offa That Funk Rufus Thomas 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Memories Rufus Thomas 1
The Funkiest Man - The Stax Funk Sessions 1967-1975 Rufus Thomas 1

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