RIP Robert Raiford

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Several news outlets have reported that Robert Raiford, colorful downtown icon/disco owner, has passed away.

Last year, Shara Clark profiled Raiford for Memphis magazine. From that story:

Raiford stands astute, unmoved — a silhouette through the fog — overlooking his disco kingdom. No shout-outs from the DJ stand, just his playlist blaring through the loudspeakers, and the occasional, perfectly timed screech of a siren — rrreeeaaarrr! — which he adds in with an air horn.

“I don’t talk,” Raiford says later. “I’m trying to get it right on time and hit the notes just right, and I ain’t got time to be talking because I don’t need to.”

He’s also adamant about not taking song requests. “People don’t realize, I don’t play music like a DJ, I play music from the heart,” he says. “I can watch you — you don’t even have to dance all night long, but I know good and well you’re having a good time. I watch your feet, watch your mood, read your body language, and I can tell. I’m doing something for you — I’m not just doing something for the dance floor.”



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