Tell Me Something Good

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"Tell Me Something Good"
Tell Me Something Good by Rufus and Chaka Khan US vinyl.jpg
A-side label of one of US vinyl releases
Single by Rufus
from the album Rags to Rufus
B-side"Smokin' Room"
ReleasedJune 1974
Format7" single, 12" single
Length4:36 (album)
3:30 (single)
LabelABC Records
Songwriter(s)Stevie Wonder
Producer(s)Bob Monaco and Rufus
Rufus singles chronology
"Feel Good"
"Tell Me Something Good"
"You Got the Love"

"Tell Me Something Good" is a song by Rufus and Chaka Khan, written by Stevie Wonder and released in 1974. The single was a hit in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent one week at number one on the Cash Box Top 100.[1] It was among the earliest hits to use the guitar talk box, by Tony Maiden.[2]


The record was produced by the band with Bob Monaco.[3]

The song has been described as having ".. rude metallic guitar" (by Al Ciner) and ".. a beautiful bass, clav and heavy breathing groove." The song can be difficult to count as there is an off-count into the verse. The first note is on the "and of four." [4]

Critical reception[edit]

Jason Elias of AllMusic described the song as "a rare instance of an artist like Stevie Wonder giving away a tune that he could have had a big hit with himself."[5]


Rufus won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus for the song at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards in 1975.


Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Live covers[edit]

Pop culture references[edit]

On the title track of Funkadelic's 1975 album Let's Take It to the Stage, the band calls out, "Hey 'Sloofus,' tell me something good," and antagonizes the singer to "take it to the stage, sucker." The song pokes fun at the sudden surge in prevalence of funk songs.

Ray Romano's character sings a variation of the song while eating his wife's braciole in the Everybody Loves Raymond episode, "Debra Makes Something Good."

On Will & Grace, Karen tells Jack that this is the song to which she and Stan make love. She then walks in on her husband cheating on her with the same song playing. Closed captioning for that episode incorrectly credits the song to Sly and the Family Stone.

In That '70s Show, in the episode "Water Tower", Eric walks in on his parents having sex, and the song plays every time he has recurring nightmares and thoughts of his parents.

BET cable network aired and produced a phone-in game show named after the song (which was also the theme song).Julie Rogers hosted this show which was a short-lived, live call-in game show where home viewers have to answer one question of the day that was followed by panel of three celebrity judges ranking the best responses for a prize. It aired from 1988-89.

Many venues in the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL play this song when a play is under review by referees or umpires.

New York radio station WCBS-FM had a show in the morning named after the song (which was also the theme song). The host told the listeners about a positive true event that happened that day. The Bobby Bones Show also has a segment named after the song.[12]




  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Classic Soul Album Spotlight: Rufus' "Rags to Rufus@". May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "Remembering Bob Monaco". 2 August 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  4. ^ Miller, S., (2010) "Music: What Happened?" 125 Records, ISBN 0615381960, ISBN 978-0615381961
  5. ^ Elias, Jason. "Rags to Rufus Review". AllMusic. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Ciccariello-Maher, George; St. Andrews, Jeff (2010). "Between Macks and Panthers: Hip Hop in Oakland and San Francisco". In Hess, Mickey (ed.). Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide, Volume 1: East Coast and West Coast. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press. p. 280. ISBN 9780313343230.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  9. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  10. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Rufus – "Tell Me Something Good" b/w "Smokin' Room"". March 18, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2016.

External links[edit]