Rufus Thomas personified
Memphis music for seven decades. His career
began in the 1930s with
Rabbit Foot Minstrels.
He cut his first record in 1941, but really
made his mark on the Memphis music scene as
a DJ on WDIA. He emceed talent shows on
Memphis' famous Beale Street, showcasing
young talent like
Bobby Bland, Junior Parker,
Ike Turner, and Roscoe Gordon.
His first success as a
recording artist was in 1953 with "Bear
Cat,” a record that gave Sun Records its
first hit and helped establish the career of
the label’s owner Sam Phillips.
In 1959, Rufus was also
instrumental in the rise of Stax Records;
with his daughter
he recorded the company’s first hit "'Cause
I Love You."
For as long as Stax was a
major force in the music industry, Rufus
churned out hits like “Walking the Dog," "Do
the Funky Chicken," "(Do The) Push and
Pull," and "The Breakdown," all good-time
get-up-and-dance tracks that he agilely
performed on stage with fancy footwork
perfected in his vaudeville days
On this album, Ugly Like Me,
Rufus delivers 11 wonderful tracks with the
same verve and in the same inimitable style
that made him a universally beloved icon of
20th century American music.
Aside from the title track, other standouts
include the rollicking “I’ll Be A Good
Boy,” “That’s No Good”
(a duet with daughter Carla Thomas),
and a killer treatment of the blues classic
“Trouble In Mind”