Tell Me Something Good – Rufus | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop & R&B (#3); 1974

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

One of the hottest groups of the 1970’s took its name from a column – “Ask Rufus” – in the science/technology/home construction project magazine, Popular Mechanics. Later shortened to “Rufus,” the so-named Chicago ensemble released three unsuccessful singles before Whoever’s Thrilling You (Is Killing Me) and Feel Good flirted with the R&B Top 40.

Then, in 1974, Rufus’ funk-meets-rock (and just about every other musical genre) mix met the perfect song. Rufus covered Stevie Wonder‘s Maybe Your Baby on their first album, so when he walked into a studio session and offered up a song for them to record, they were thrilled.

Well, not exactly; a point singer Chaka Khan made clear. Unfazed, Stevie sat down at the clavinet and knocked out another one – Tell Me Something Good – and coached Chaka on her vocals.

Stevie’s song gave Rufus its first big hit and snagged them a Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Group.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • The Band Rufus
  • Bob Monaco

Lyrics Written by:

  • Stevie Wonder


  • Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus in 1975