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Home Tennessee Shelby County Memphis Historical Markers Rufus Thomas, Jr.

Rufus Thomas, Jr.

326 Beale St., Memphis, TN , USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 8' 22.271244", -90° 3' 1.831248"
  Tennessee TN State Historical Marker
Tennessee State
Historical Marker

Born March 26, 1917, in Cayce, Mississippi, this
legendary entertainer known worldwide, began his career in the 1930s
with the Rabbit Foot Minstrel Shows. He was the organizer and master
of ceremonies of the amateur shows in the 1940s and 1950s at the Palace
Theatre, which stood at this site. From these shows began the careers of
many great performers, including B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland. He had
the first hit records for both the Sun and Stax labels. As a popular
personality on WDIA, he was the first disc jockey to play Elvis Presley
records on a Black radio station. He was the creator of two of the
biggest dance crazes of the 1960s--“The Dog” and “the Funky Chicken.”

Last updated: 2/14/2015 15:17:00
Rufus Thomas, Jr. Historical Marker Location Map, Memphis, Tennessee Map