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Scotty Moore

Updated on December 12, 2013

Scotty Moore - Rock Pioneer Extraordinaire

Scotty Moore is considered by many to be the first real rock and roll lead guitar player. Although often in the background this incredible musical artist helped paved the way to Elvis' stardom. Not only did he help write some of Elvis' biggest hits he also toured with Elvis as part of his band for more than a decade.

Without doubt, his guitar playing and style have influenced many of today's greatest guitar players.

The Life of Scotty Moore

The legendary Scotty Moore was born about five miles from the town of Gadsden Tennessee. He was the youngest of 4 sons by fourteen years. At the age of eight Scotty's friends and family began teaching him to play guitar. His early music influences were country and jazz.

When Scotty was 16 he joined the US Navy even though he was actually underage. He served on the USS Valley Forge and LST-855 and he spent time in both China and Korea. He left the service in 1952 and went back to the states.

In 1954 Scotty began playing with a group called the Starlight Wranglers. Among its members was also legendary bassist Bill Black. It was Sun Record's Sam Phillips who thought to put the teenage Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill together to form a new group. It was on July 5th 1954 that three made the famous recording "That's All Right Mama" in the Sun Records sound studio."

They began touring throughout the American South, using the name the Blue Moon Boys. At this time it was actually Scotty who was considered to be the leader of the band and the manager. It was not until 1955 that this would change and Elvis became the forefront member of the group. Bill and Scotty actually became salaried employees to the "Elvis Presley" show rather than being equals. With this change also came the addition of drummer D.J. Fontana.

Scotty would remain playing and touring with the Elvis show for almost fourteen years. During this time they put out such hits as Heart Break Hotel, Hound Dog and Too Much. As Elvis' fame grew the rest of the band was pushed more and more into a background role. Neither Scotty or Bill was even allowed to play on the Love Me Tender sound track.

Due to these strained conditions both Bill and Scotty resigned in 1957. They were able to work out an understanding and did get back together after about only about a month of separation. However, Scotty was soon to be out of work when Elvis was enlisted. While Elvis was gone Scotty got a job working at Fernwood Records but on the production end of things.

When Elvis returned Scotty did play for him occasionally in the studio but decided to get a job at Phillips as a production manager in 1960. Scotty did put out one solo album in 1964 but it did not do very well. In March of 64 Scotty moved to Nashville and began working with Music City Records.

Scotty has since worked on the production side of things for most of his life. He has worked with such stars as Dolly Parton, Jonny Cash, Bob Hope and Perry Como. He did come back to play with Elvis on his 1968 Comeback Special. And, he also played guitar for a few very special performers including Carl Perkins and Bruce Springsteen. In 1997 he teamed up with fellow rockers Keith Richards Jeff Beck, D.J. Fontana and others to do the tribute album "All The King's Men."

Scotty's numerous achievements include being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, receiving the Memphis Music Heroes Award and The Orville H. Gibson lifetime Achievement Award. He is regarded as being one of the for runners in the rock and roll world.

Rock N' Roll History

'On July 5, 1954, guitarist Scotty Moore, bass player Bill Black and a young man from Tupelo, Mississippi, by the name of Elvis Aaron Presley recorded 'That's All Right' at the Memphis Recording Service - and the world was never to be the same again.'

Trivia About Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore began playing guitar when he was eight years old.

In 2000 Scotty Moore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Scotty's first solo album was released in 1964 it was called The Guitar that Changed the World.

Scotty has been credited with being the first "lead guitarist".

At the young age of 16 Moore enlisted in the US Navy. He served from 1948 until 1952.

Scotty played with Elvis Presley in a band called the Blue Moon Boys.

Scotty was Elvis' first manager.

Scotty served aboard the USS Valley Forge.

Moore played with Elvis from 1954 until Elvis' Hollywood years.

In 1968 Moore played guitar for Elvis' big Comeback Special.

Moore preferred to play Gibson guitars.

Friends and family taught Scotty how to play guitar.

Scotty Moore can be seen in the movie Jail House Rock.

Who do you think is the most influential guitarist?

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Scotty Says

Quotes by Scotty Moore

"It was way out in the woods in a beautiful, huge log studio. Keith Richards came in and did the vocals with Levon. Again, a big party, but we did get a good cut out of it."

"There's nothing definite yet. Of course, any time you have a book, there's going to be book signings and stuff. We'll do bookstores that handle both audio and video. And some of the stores want to have the CDs available at the same time. So that part looks real good."

"Anybody who wasn't a fan of Gate, well, there's something wrong with them. He covered all genres and did them all great. It never matter whether it was on guitar or fiddle. He had a style all his own, and he had the longest fingers under the sun...."

"We were fortunate to be there a day or two before 'the big bang' and then we got the heck out of town."

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Are you in the Scotty Moore Fan Club?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      No, I am not but it all depends on how I feel about Scotty Moore. As to regards of the poll on who is the greatest Rock guitarist of all time, do not get me wrong, I think all of those who are mentioned including Scotty are all brilliant, each in their own way as I do not believe any two guitarists sound exactly alike so each one seems to have his or her own sound. I think Scotty is one of the greatest but to me and my mother would put Jimi Hendrix on the top of the list. No offense.

      I have another comment to make, like I said earlier, I would like to join his fan club depending on how I feel about him. I have heard that he has had or still has a long standing feud with Jerry Lee Lewis (who is a favorite of mine) since the 1970s when he got into a fist fight when Jerry mouthed of to him about his guitar prowess or something like that. If he is still feuding with Jerry and has not made up with him, I do not want to be his fan. My question is: are they feuding or have they made up? Please reply to me with the true facts. Thank you.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome talent, and a great great person.