Founded in 1900, the Rabbit's Foot Company was a highly sought minstrel and variety troupe that toured the south for over five decades, closing in the late 1950s. The company was founded by African-American guitar player Pat Chappelle, who was originally from Jacksonville and previously opened Jacksonville's Excelsior Theatre, the first African-American owned theater in the South. He branched out into running performance groups and formed Rabbit's Foot in Florida, before branching out to nearby locations of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi as well. Designed as a show filled with comedy routines, song and dance, and a marching band, it was heavily crafted with blues music throughout its production. Following Chappelle's death in 1911, the Rabbit's Foot Company was taken over by white carnival owner Fred Wolcott who moved the production's home base to Mississippi but kept it touring for decades.
As the 20th century progressed, tent shows were catching on as a strong performance outlet to great successes. Rabbit's Foot itself, billed as "too good for a tent," gave opportunity and crafted many fine blues musicians, including Willie Nix, Jim Jackson, and Big Joe Williams. With a final recorded production in 1959, this first class show left a long lasting legacy and strong benchmark for future tent productions.