Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rock Hall of Fame: Rufus Thomas’s Daughter Wants to Know Why Her Father Isn’t In There


Vaneese Thomas, the most sought after live back up singer in New York, wants to know why her father isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rufus Thomas is considered the king of Memphis soul, a legendary performer with many hits. He also introduced Elvis Presley to the black radio audience on Memphis’ WDIA. He also had hits on Stax Records with Vaneese’s sister, Carla. She’s also not in the Rock Hall. It’s a scandal.

Last night, Vaneese introduced her new album. “Blues for My Father” with a sizzling one hour show Chris Noth’s Cutting Room on East 32nd St. This was after two nights of singing backup for Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall. The pair have a long family connection: Aretha’s father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, married Vaneese’s parents in Memphis way back more than 70 years ago.

On Vaneese’s new album ( she shares a duet with big sister Carla. She also went back and, with producer husband Wayne Warnecke, created an “Unforgettable” type duet with Rufus. If you like authentic, genuine blues, and R&B, “Blues for My Father” is a treat. Most of the songs are original, with the exception of a rocking version of  John Forgerty’s “Old Man Down the Road.”

As for Rufus, and Carla, the whole story at the Rock Hall is so screwed up at this point, they will probably be passed over for who knows what? Cutting Crew, Bananarama? It’s a sad state of affairs. But you can sign a petition on Vaneese Thomas’s website.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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