Vintage Gold: Rufus Thomas at Wattstax – “Funky Chicken”

rufus thomas pink suit

UPDATE: Feb. 5, 2019 — It’s been 9 years since Grimy Goods wrote their first Vintage Gold feature — a column inspired by my ultimate love for the good ole shit. I’m talking the raw, filterless, grimy goods. Ya feel me? Whether punk, funk, goth, blues, hip hop or techno — much of the many bands and endless genres we hear today would be nothing if it weren’t for these trailblazers. And who doesn’t love a dope, live vintage cut? Check out our first-ever Vintage Gold feature below, and stay tuned for more.

Rufus Thomas


This has got to be one of the best old school festival videos ever.

1. It’s Rufus Thomas! This man had such a distinct voice for blues, R&B, soul and endless funk goodies attracting fans from all over the map. Black, white, purple, green — Thomas’ dope vibes brought people together all under one umbrella. From his style to his smile, you gotta love how much fun Thomas had with his music. His energy was infectious, and can still be felt today.

2. It’s Rufus Thomas at Wattstax! More or less one of the coolest “music festivals” ever, Wattstax was a benefit concert organized by Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 1965 riots in the African-American community of Watts, Los Angeles. Taking place in the summer of ’72 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the legendary event included all of Stax’s prominent artists at the time. Some people called it the “black Woodstock.” You can watch the full documentary below.

3. Look at the fan energy, interaction and movement. When do you ever see fans rush a stage area like that and just start boogie-ing down? You don’t see that kind of stuff at Coachella. People are too damn worried about the FOMO on a Kardashian sighting.

4. Check out Rufus Thomas’ getup! Who else can pull off pink shorts-suit … with a matching cape.

AND

White calf-calf-legnth boots!

5. It’s all about the locking. Who doesn’t love a good “funky chicken”?

You gotta check out this video of Rufus Thomas at Wattstax performing “Breakdown” and “Funky Chicken” live at Wattstax. Trust, this video will make you wanna dance, smile and just love.

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