Rufus Thomas

Do the Funky Chicken

Song Review by

Say what you will about Rufus Thomas, the man was absolutely fearless. The self-proclaimed "Mayor of Beale Street," Thomas wrote dozens of brilliant songs, and deserves canonization merely for being the father of the beautiful and sassy Carla Thomas, the best duet partner Otis Redding ever had and a brilliant soul singer in her own right. Yet he will forever be best known for writing "Do the Funky Chicken," therefore creating the single goofiest dance craze of the 1970s, that singularly goofy decade. The lyrics are as silly as "Disco Duck," but the difference is in the delivery; while Thomas clearly knows how silly the entire concept is -- he starts the record off with his impersonation of a cackling hen -- he doesn't let that stop him from getting behind those goofy lyrics and giving them everything he's got. By God, he really does want every last man, woman, and child out there dancing like a yard bird. And for as long as the song is playing, that sounds like a really good idea.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Wattstax: The Living Word (Concert Music from the Original Movie Soundtrack) 1972
Various Artists
Stax 4:30
Let's Dance [Original Soundtrack] 1994
Original Soundtrack
Deluxe 3:29
Son of Stax Funk: A Whole Nuther Strut 1996
Various Artists
Stax 3:15
The Best of Rufus Thomas: Do the Funky Somethin' 1996 Rhino / Atlantic / WEA 3:19
Remember When...1970 1996
Various Artists
King / Koch 3:25
Classic Gold [Compose] 1997
Various Artists
Compose Records 3:10
Funky Chicken 1997 Stax 3:15
Funky Chicken [Metro] 2000 Metro 4:39
The Stax Story 2000
Various Artists
Stax 3:17
Funk Soul USA 2001
Various Artists
Goldenlane / Cleopatra 3:25
The Soul Box 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:11
21 Winners: Best of Soul [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:24
Spirit of Soul [Spirit Of] 2007
Various Artists
Spirit Of (UK) 3:26