'Disco King' of Memphis dies

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Robert "Hollywood" Raiford has died, according to family.

Raiford is the owner of Raiford's Hollywood Disco nightclub. He died Tuesday night from kidney failure.

He was known as the "Disco King" of Memphis and was a nightlife legend whose vision attracted visitors from around the globe.

"I'll miss him as the person because he was; such a great man," family friend Marcus Grandberry said. "Such a great, awesome person, and that's something I think the world will miss."

Raiford was a legend in Memphis' downtown night scene for more than three decades, starting with his club Hollywood Raiford's on Vance with its disco ball, lights, and smoke machine filling the club for an extra special touch and those extra fancy limos.

"People would want to come to Memphis to go to Raiford's," Grandberry said.

People would line up outside the club just to see the man himself decked out in outrageous outfits, spinning 80s music from behind the DJ booth.

"They know I'm going to give a good show. They know that and I think they expect I"m going to do my best," Raiford once said.

In 2007 he closed Hollywood Raiford's. Two years later, Raiford and his daughter opened Paula and Raiford's disco on Second Avenue downtown - making the father and daughter duo Memphis nightlife icons.

Raiford had been ill for a while, but it didn't stop him. He even was the DJ a couple weeks ago at an event.

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