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The Amazing Rufus Thomas

Posted by V.B., August 26, 2012 02:39pm | Post a Comment
Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

Rufus Thomas

Rufus Thomas led a storied life. He started in show business in the late 1930s with a traveling minstrel show. By the early ‘50s, he was a renowned DJ on WDIA Memphis and was also recording on Meteor, Chess, and Sun Records.  

rufus thomas rufus thomas rufus thomas

“Bear Cat” - Sun Records 1953 

 
His daughter, Carla, had one of the first hits on the fledgling Stax Records with “Gee Whiz.”  Two years later in 1963, Rufus had a monster crossover hit with “Walking The Dog.” Later he recorded “Jump Back,” which became a R&R standard. 

“Walking The Dog”


Cordell Jackson and Moon Records

Posted by Whitmore, August 23, 2007 09:29am | Post a Comment


Cordell Jackson was probably best known as the "rock-and-roll granny" whose git-pickin’ ran circles around Brian Setzer in the 1991 Budweiser commercial. But she is also an early rockabilly pioneer and is thought to be the first woman to write, arrange, engineer, produce, promote and manufacture her own rock and roll record label: Moon Records founded in Memphis in 1956.

Born into a musical household in Mississippi in 1923, her father played fiddle and lead a popular local string band called the Pontotoc Ridge Runners, she had  recorded several demos at Sam Phillips' Memphis studios for Sun Records. But without any success, or the likelihood of getting signed to Sun, she took the advice of Chet Atkins and formed her own label.

Her first release was "Beboppers  Christmas" b/w "Rock and Roll Christmas.” Soon she was releasing other singles from other rockabilly artists such as Allen Page and the Big Four, best known for their single "Dateless Night," written by Jackson.

Jackson continued Moon Records through the 1970’s and 80’s, remaining active in the rockabilly music scene. She recorded a novelty song called "Football Widow," which became probably her best known recording.  After the Budweiser ad, she enjoyed her quirky, new-found fame: she had a small role as the "Bathroom Lady" in “The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag,” appeared on the David Letterman show and had her original Moon singles displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

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