Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stax Records: Walking the Dog

Stax recording artist Rufus Thomas was sort of anomaly. When he had his only Top 10 hit in 1963 with “Walking the Dog,” he was at the ripe old age of 46 – a little old at the time for the teen crowd, but they followed him anyway. Not that 46 is old mind you, as I am beyond that vintage myself – it was unusual in a Rock ‘N Roll and R&B context at the time.

In addition, he entered the Top 10 after his daughter, Carla Thomas, had done so with her hit, “Gee Whiz” two years earlier in 1961. Both tunes peaked at the #10 position. He may have been the first or even the only parent to chart in the Top 10 after his/her child achieved that feat.

It would prove to be the only time either one would have a Top 10 hit in the Hot 100. Although, Carla’s “Baby” that hit the #14 slot in 1966 would come close. Rufus’s 1970 hits “Do the Funky Chicken” and “(Do the) Push and Pull” would chart in the 20s. All three follow-up hits were released by Stax. Later in life, Thomas returned to a previous profession as a disc jockey on WDAI in Memphis. He died in 2001 at nearly 84 years of age.

No comments:

Post a Comment