Rufus Thomas

Rufus Thomas

Rufus Thomas

Do The Funky Chicken


We ain’t got no hippies down in Mississippi/ But we’re funky just the same ~ “Funky Mississippi” by Rufus Thomas.

Nobody is gonna sue Rufus Thomas for false advertising. I doubt Thomas could walk to the mailbox and not make it funky. Take a listen to his first hit, “Walking the Dog” from Stax in 1963. Funky. With its low-down guitar atop a New Orleans beat, it defined funkiness, and Thomas never looked back, racking up hit after dance-floor filling hit. By the time of Do the Funky Chicken in 1968, Thomas was considered “old school” at Stax. But you can’t tell it from the grooves. This is primal funk. From the relentless beat to the commanding vocals, Thomas wasn’t growing old gracefully. Hell, he makes “Old McDonald Had a Farm” sound like James Brown, and his version of “Hound Dog” — called “Bear Cat” — is pure sex, leaving Elvis in the dust.

Do the Funky Chicken launched the second wave of Rufus Thomas’s career and got him back on the charts. This expanded edition features eight extra cuts recorded at the same time with Booker T. & the MG’s backing him up. Can’t get much funkier than that. Those listeners who spend all their free time cratedigging to find the gems that make you “move your rump” will do well to put this in the rotation. Because when Rufus Thomas tells you to dance the Funky Chicken, or the “Itch and Scratch,” it ain’t a suggestion. It’s a funkin’ order!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gary Wittner
    Gary Wittner

    Too Modern for Me. (Invisible Music Records) Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Willard Gayheart & Friends
    Willard Gayheart & Friends

    At Home in the Blue Ridge (Blue Hens Music). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Alex McArtor
    Alex McArtor

    Touch/Are You Alone (Bigmac Records). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Superstar

    Sex, drugs, adultery, murder and finally, redemption – it’s all intertwined in the tale of Trent Davis, the “star” of author Christopher Long‘s latest, Superstar.

  • Moloko Plus
    Moloko Plus

    Moloko Plus is a monthly experimental music event in Orlando, Florida.

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

From the Archives