News Update: Rest In Peace Robert “Hollywood” Raiford Edition
I had a whole big informative news update ready for you. But I’ve postponed that until tomorrow morning.
Today is a sad day in Memphis, as we’ve learned that the godfather of late-night downtown dancing, Robert Raiford, has passed away at the age 75. Paula & Raiford’s Disco is a Memphis institution, and the only place like it in the entire universe. It was more than just a crazy, hazy, dance club.
Mr. Raiford and his daughter, Paula, created an alternate reality where every kind of person could let down their hair, forget their worries, and feel sexy. If you couldn’t throw down at Raiford’s, could you really throw down?
I’m honestly getting a little choked up thinking about the memories I’ve made there, from celebrating after my friend’s first big professional victory there – to impressing the Travelocity gnome’s team with our Memphis party prowess there – to waking up the morning after a Raiford’s night with a big, smudged SEXY stamp on my hand and memories of dancing to the Free Willy song and “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire at least three times each.
Paula – who is co-owner of the nightclub – has always been a friend of this blog and a supporter of Memphis causes and events along with her father. I’m sending her and their friends and family my condolences. Memphians will always talk about our wild times there, but it’s the Raifords’ entrepreneurial, positive, music-fueled spirit that really reflects the best of what Memphis is about.
If you have your own Raiford’s memories, feel free to share.