Cayce in Marshall County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
A recording artist, disc jockey, comedian, and ambassador for Memphis music, Rufus Thomas (1917 – 2001) was born here in Cayce. As a young man Thomas toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, and later worked in Memphis as an emcee at Beale Street’s Palace Theater and as an influential and long serving deejay on WDIA. Known as the “world’s oldest teenager,” Thomas recorded blues for Chess and Sun, and his many soul hits for Stax included "Walking the Dog."
Rufus Thomas embodied the spirit of Memphis music perhaps more than any other artist, and from the early 1940s until his death on December 15, 2001, occupied many important roles in the local scene. Thomas was born in Cayce on March 26, 1917, and his family lived on Mt. Carmel Road before they moved to Memphis in about 1921. After graduation from Booker T. Washington High School in 1936 Thomas went out on the road with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels of Port Gibson, Mississippi, initially working as a tap dancer and later as a singer. He later became the host—together with partner Robert “Bones” Couch—of the popular amateur contest at Beale Street’s Palace Theater, where the most notable winner in the 1940s was a then-unknown B. B. King.
Thomas, who counted Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller
Erected 2012 by Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 163.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 34° 57.314′ N, 89° 37.009′ W. Marker is in Cayce, Mississippi, in Marshall County. Marker is on Lee Creek Road east of Cayce Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located in front of the Cayce Marshall Company Volunteer Fire Department. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Collierville (approx. 6.6 miles away in Tennessee); The Wigfall Grays (approx. 6.6 miles away in Tennessee); Collierville, Tenn. (approx. 6.6 miles away in Tennessee); Collierville United Methodist Church (approx. 6.6 miles away in Tennessee); Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church (approx. 6.7 miles away in Tennessee); Presbyterian Church of Collierville (approx. 6.7 miles away in Tennessee); a different marker also named Battle of Collierville (approx. 6.7 miles away in Tennessee); Chalmers's Collierville Raid (approx. 6.7 miles away in Tennessee).
Also see . . . Rufus Thomas - Memphis Music Hall of Fame. (Submitted on August 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 139 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on August 12, 2016.