This song has been stuck in my head for weeks now:

“(Do The) Push and Pull (Part 1)” is a 1970 single by Rufus Thomas. This was the only number-one song for Thomas — Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles chart for two weeks in February 1971 — who hit the R&B chart in 1953.

Thomas also found some success with the Do The Funky Chicken, and Walking The Dog.

I previously mentioned the Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration back in 2007.

Recently, Stax came out with a new album, Stax Number Ones (which Amazon sells for $7.97). I was surprised that this Rufus Thomas single was not in the prior Stax collection. Its a perfect groove for getting ready to go out on a rainy Friday night:


(Do the) Push and Pull (Part 1) Rufus Thomas, Stax Number Ones


Lyrics, live performance, and full video after the jump . . .

Hey, everybody, Mister Rufus in town
Came here to take care of business
Ain’t gonna mess around
I got a brand new dance, that ain’t no bull
Everybody’s doing it talking ’bout push and pull

I said, push, pull, push, pull
Get on up, get on down
Get on up
Take it round and round

I said, push, pull, push, pull
Little bit more
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it

Lookie here
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it

Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it

Get out on the floor, you’re gonna get left
Get on your own, pretty baby, now go for yourself
It’s easier taking candy from a baby, don’t hand me no bull
Now you got it, baby you got that push and pull

I said, push, pull
Push, pull
Listen get on up, get on down
Get on up
Take it round and round

I said, push, pull, push, pull
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it

Double upon
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it

Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it
Push it, pull it

Oh, Mister Clean and James Brown
Everybody been messing around
I’m doing a hundred and laying on full
I got this thing talking ’bout push and pull

I said, push, pull
Push, pull, oh, ho

Push and pull, oh, ho



Category: Friday Night Jazz, Music

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “Friday Night Jazz Funk: Do the Push and Pull”

  1. Dennis says:

    Play that funky music, White Boy !~

  2. ToNYC says:

    Stax-Volt Live in London and Live in Paris..two vinyl LPs I burned through the grooves in 1967 while burning through the grooves in 1967. Behold these gifts.

  3. bill750 says:

    You’re a real soul man, dude. Don’t you know that every black reader of this blog (if there are any) is laughing his/her ass off at you? Stick with the market/economy commentary – you’re a lot of things (mostly very good), but cool isn’t one of them…

  4. Its not a function of “cool” — I post what I like, don’t care if its cool (but I know have I have excellent musical taste). This ear worm has been stuck in my heads for week,s hence the post.

    Besides, I’ll put my musical chops up against anyone else’s anyday


    For those of you interested, the annual best of lists and other musical items can be found here: Music on The Big Picture

  5. louis says:

    Damn bill750 the man’s just trying to help you out with ladies and turn you on to some cool tunes. White Guy’s cant listen to Black Music?

    Keep pushing it BR.

  6. DL says:

    A few good ones there (e.g., “Green Onions”, and “Soul Man”).

  7. Dewey says:

    I have to throw in with louis —

    I don’t always agree with everything BR says economically or politically, but the man who turned me on to J.J. Grey & Mofro and The Philosopher Kings is not to be trifled with musically.

  8. davefromcarolina says:

    Rufus Thomas always got hind tit when he was at Stax. Let him have a moment now, and later for “cool.”

  9. MayorQuimby says:

    “’ll put my musical chops up against anyone else’s anyday”

    I’ll take ya on BR.

    Nice find btw. Stax, Atlantic and Motown – the trifecta of excellence when it comes to anything with a groove.

    The Breakdown pt1 is my favorite Rufus track. Watt Stax is required viewing for any fans of R&B or soul.

    Also – check out “The Rhythm Review” every Saturday morning from 10 – 2p on 88.3 WBGO (NJ).

  10. 777george says:

    Lord, I haven’t seen clumsy graceles GO-GO dancers in DECADES! I really like RT’s tunes, but I have to say “Walkin’ the Dog” was actually his best tune. Geez, we don’t have R&B, or Soul, or Real R&R anymore, I guess Pop music has declined in quality along with the rest of society. RAMBO??? 50 sent? The Britney! OMG give us Rufus and the Marvelettes.

  11. papa zita says:

    I was very much into this music as a child, so I don’t see Barry’s love of it the least bit unusual. Rufus Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Jean and Fredrick Knight, what’s so embarrassing about that? Although honestly, when I was ten, my favorite group was the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, who weren’t even close to Memphis.

  12. O-town guy says:

    I know I should let this go but, as a black guy who lurks here I just have to say…Bill 750= Ass. Rufus’ tunes are a staple at our family reunions. Keep up the good work BR!

  13. Richard RJ Eskow says:

    Another side of Barry R — excellent. And you’re absolutely right: Forget cool. Go with what you love. Glad you’re not backing down.

    If you haven’t already, check out the “Can’t Get Away From This Dog” compilation on Rufus:

    It’s mostly unreleased stuff — it’s a spotty collection, but the great stuff is really great, especially “44 Long” (an ode to the romantic abilities of older men), “A Story That’s Never Been Told,” and his version of “Barefootin.” (Steve Cropper’s especially amazing on that track.)

    I’m starting to think there’s a connection between financial blogging and music. There are several of us out there who are deeply into both …

  14. ToNYC says:

    As Yogi was said to have told the appreciate woman admirer in his own inverted style, “Hey Yogi, you’re pretty cool!” , … “You ain’t so hot yourself, lady.”

  15. catman says:

    Up against anybody. Dead Honky. Shit

  16. ToNYC says:

    catman, one of Richard Pryor’s characters, just entered the cool!
    Bless the pink palms of his street life hands.