The last time I saw Rufus Thomas was at the Beale street music festival, a part of Memphis in May. He walked up on stage with the help of a
handler and a cane. Rickety as all get out and seemingly feeble. He was helped to the microphone and when the handler made sure he was
steady and walked away he wobbled a little bit on his cane. He had on a big coat, very diferent than his trade mark pink shorts pants suit.
It was sad in a way. There was a collective tension in the crowd at seeing this great, vibrant man looking so old. I think many people were still
standing there out of respect alone. And then it happened. The band started playing. He dropped the cane. He started to bend but couldn't
reach it. He looked out at us, shrugged and then stood right up, threw off his coat to reveal the aforementioned pink suit and big white boots
and went straight into Walking the Dog, with full dance routines and bouncing around. Followed by the famous Funky Chicken and Land of 1000
Dancers and on and on and on. For an hour at least. He never stopped to rest. It was unbelievable. The joke was on us. He wasn't feeble at all, old,
yes, but not feeble. He was every bit the showman he was known to be. He died of heart failure six months later.
The video below is from Wattstax, which you should google. He's wearing the outfit, though is decidedly younger than the he was on the night
above. I picked the funky chicken because it's what he's most known for. Enjoy.
Maybe I should not ever go see old people play music, they tend to die right after. This is the only video I could find of Mose Vinson, He's a bit more
lively than when I saw him, but here you go... Sid Selvidge is playing with him. There's a video of Sid below.
Sid is a family friend. He is emensely talented and has such a beautiful voice. Also, the man can yodel like nobody's business. This was my favorite
song of his when I was a child...