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Rufus Thomas The Sun Years, plus

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CD digipac with 68-page booklet, 29 tracks, playing time 85 mns. 29 tracks including all known... more

Rufus Thomas: The Sun Years, plus

CD digipac with 68-page booklet, 29 tracks, playing time 85 mns.

29 tracks including all known surviving recordings from 1949 ' 1956, plus 2 recently discovered sides from his first recording session for Star Talent. All 8 original 78 rpm discs for Star Talent, Bullet, Chess, Sun, and Meteor. Some of these now for the first time ever from the first generation-tape. 3 recordings from the Memphis Recording Service, not originally issued and 2 original versions of songs Rufus Thomas covered (1 by Joe Hill Louis, 1 by Rosco Gordon; previously unissued). You'll also get the original version of Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton, and 2 bonus recordings by Rufus Thomas' fellow DJ,
Moohah Williams. Extras includce 2 extracts from Rufus Thomas on radio WDIA in the 1950s and a rare radio interview with Daddy Cool. And of course, mastered as only Bear Family can do it. A newly researched 68-page booklet by Martin Hawkins largely based on interviews by himself and Dave Booth, plus rare photos and adverts.

Rufus Thomas was a one-off: a larger than life character who made as great a contribution to the performance and style of American music as he did to the recording of it. He saw it all from black vaudeville to rap... and played a major role in the evolution of African American music. His earlier R&B recordings have been unjustly obscured by his later role in the development of Stax Records and his string of soul hits. But Rufus Thomas was ' though he always played it down ' a damn fine blues and R&B singer in the 1950s. And this is one of the best cross-sections of African American music you'll hear from the period.
Rufus Thomas sings with the Lionel Hampton band, several Memphis R&B dance bands, and with Sun studio session groups. And, in case we forget, he gave Sun Records its first hit, Bear Cat.

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Thomas, Rufus - The Sun Years, plus CD 1
01 I'll Be A Good Boy Rufus Thomas
02 I'm So Worried Rufus Thomas
03 Who's That Chick Rufus Thomas
04 Double Trouble Rufus Thomas
05 Beer Bottle Boogie Rufus Thomas
06 Gonna Bring My Baby Back Rufus Thomas
07 Night Workin' Blues Rufus Thomas
08 Why Did You Deegee Rufus Thomas
09 Crazy About You Baby Rufus Thomas
10 No More Dogging Around Rufus Thomas
11 Decorate The Counter Rufus Thomas
12 Decorate The Counter Rufus Thomas
13 Juanita Rufus Thomas
14 Married Woman û1 Rufus Thomas
15 Married Woman û2 Rufus Thomas
16 I'm Off That Stuff Rufus Thomas
17 Hound Dog Rufus Thomas
18 Bear Cat (The Answer To Hound Dog) Rufus Thomas
19 Walkin' In The Rain Rufus Thomas
20 Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle) Rufus Thomas
21 Tiger Man (King of the Jungle) Rufus Thomas
22 Save That Money Rufus Thomas
23 Intro patter to Sepia Swing Club Rufus Thomas
24 Pink Pussycat Wine Rufus Thomas
25 All Shook Out Rufus Thomas
26 Candy Rufus Thomas
27 The Easy Livin' Plan Rufus Thomas
28 I'm Steady Holdin' On Rufus Thomas
29 Rufus Thomas on Daddy Cool show Rufus Thomas
Rufus Thomas "I'm the only one of its kind."   Louis Armstrong, one of his... more
"Rufus Thomas"

Rufus Thomas

"I'm the only one of its kind."

 Louis Armstrong, one of his inspirations, Rufus Thomas was larger than life. He came both to symbolise the place and the music he grew from, and to transcend that time and place. His career spanned black music from vaudeville to funk.

We capture him here in the 1950s, the R&B years, at a time when he was firmly of and about Memphis, Tennessee and when he was just starting out as a recording artist. He was rather impressive fronting a blues combo or a swing jazz band, although he would often say, "I'm not really a singer, but I think I'm a pretty decent entertainer."

Rufus Thomas was above all a performer, a character. He was a dancer, an emcee, and a disc jockey before he found fame as the hit-making purveyor of dance-related recordings in the 1960s. Even then, it was his performance of those hits that was to the fore. Rufus came across as a man programmed to provide fun, who seemed not to take his music – or life in general - very seriously.

Yet Rufus Thomas did take very seriously his attempts to build a career as an entertainer, and he was a man who wanted to be given his due for the dues he had paid. In the early days of R&B, those dues included melding together elements of swing jazz and the blues with some memorable phrases and a winning vocal delivery, producing a considerable body of recorded music that has been under acknowledged over the years.

This CD collects together all the known surviving recordings Rufus made between 1949 and 1956 – his pre-Stax days, pre-Walking The Dog. Included are two previously discovered  sides from his first recording session, for Star Talent. All eight of his original 78 rpm singles are here, as are all his other – not originally issued – songs recorded by Sam Phillips at the Memphis Recording Service. The original versions of three of Rufus’s recordings, by Rosco Gordon, Big Mama Thornton and Joe Hill Louis, are included also as interesting comparisons. We have included other bonus items: extracts from Rufus on radio WDIA, a disc by Rufus’s fellow disc jockey, Moohah, and parts of an illuminating radio interview Rufus gave to Dave Booth in 1986.

  • "We didn't make a lot of money but we had a damn good time."

Rufus Thomas was always quick to make sure that you knew he was a city man first and foremost. In one of his earliest in-depth interviews he told Peter Guralnick: "I was born in Mississippi just below Collierville, about five miles from the Tennessee line in a little place called Cayce; it's not on anybody's map. That was March 26 1917, [though his social security records say March 27] but I grew up in Memphis. I been here since I was a year old. I don't know anything about country life, to tell you the truth."

from booklet BCD16695 - Rufus Thomas The Sun Years, plus
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/thomas-rufus-the-sun-years-plus.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

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Tracklist
Thomas, Rufus - The Sun Years, plus CD 1
01 I'll Be A Good Boy
02 I'm So Worried
03 Who's That Chick
04 Double Trouble
05 Beer Bottle Boogie
06 Gonna Bring My Baby Back
07 Night Workin' Blues
08 Why Did You Deegee
09 Crazy About You Baby
10 No More Dogging Around
11 Decorate The Counter
12 Decorate The Counter
13 Juanita
14 Married Woman û1
15 Married Woman û2
16 I'm Off That Stuff
17 Hound Dog
18 Bear Cat (The Answer To Hound Dog)
19 Walkin' In The Rain
20 Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle)
21 Tiger Man (King of the Jungle)
22 Save That Money
23 Intro patter to Sepia Swing Club
24 Pink Pussycat Wine
25 All Shook Out
26 Candy
27 The Easy Livin' Plan
28 I'm Steady Holdin' On
29 Rufus Thomas on Daddy Cool show