Current Exhibit

A CENTURY OF FUNK: Rufus Thomas at 100. Now through August 31, 2017

Had it not been for Stax Records founder meeting Memphis music icon Rufus Thomas soon after he started his fledgling Satellite Records in 1957, Stax Records might never have become the soul and R&B powerhouse that it came to be. Having moved into the old movie theater at 926 E. McLemore Avenue to record country and rockabilly music, it was Rufus Thomas and his daughter Carla Thomas who opened Stewart’s eyes to R&B music with their regional Satellite hit, “Cause I Love You.” Rufus Thomas would go on to become of the one the label’s most influential artists until it was forced into involuntary bankruptcy in 1974.

March 26, 2017 marks what would have been “The World’s Oldest Teenager’s” 100th birthday and in commemoration, the Stax Museum presents this special new exhibit of photographs, promotional materials, stage costumes and other memorabilia to show the wide swath Thomas cut across Memphis music history — from the beginnings of black radio at WDIA to the glory days of Beale Street, as well as his crucial role as the first hitmaker for both the Sun and Stax labels.