Rufus Thomas “Sophisticated Sissy” (Stax 221, R&B#43, 1967)

Rufus Thomas “Sophisticated Sissy” (Stax 221, R&B#43, 1967)

6621620_128715428701It seems appropriate for Folsom Street Sunday to revisit this Rufus Thomas R&B hit. We go back and look back at a Mid Sixties dance trend inspired by the exuberant celebration of sexuality on the dance floor brought by the sway of the hips of less than masculine of center African American men.

Like today’s Sissy Bounce championed by New Orleans artists like Big Freedia, “The Sissy” dance trend of the 1960’s started in African American clubs in New Orleans as well. Coming to life between 1963 and 1964, the dance focused on the joys and delights of the rump, with celebrated movements that soon caught fire in Black clubs with dancers of all orientations. As it goes, there’s a number of records that name check the dance between 1964 and 1970. It’s possibly one of the earlier examples of Queer Black Culture going mainstream without a blink of an eye to the decidedly more sexually liberated root inspiration.

Although not the only song done in the genre, Rufus Thomas’s perfectly lubricated ode to the dance seems to stand the test of time and works the groove the best. Remember the fun is in the buns, this Sunday and every Sunday beyond.


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