Born Winfield Scott Moore III on
December 27, 1931 at home on a farm 5
miles from Gadsden and 5 miles
from Humboldt Tennessee the
youngest by 14 years of a family of 4 boys.
Began playing guitar at the age of 8 learning from family and friends.
Enlisted in the Navy in 1948 at the age of 16 (below the minimum age), serving in
the USS Kent County (LST-855)
and the USS Valley Forge. Discharged in January of 1952.
Scotty Moore and shipmate Durwood Ramsey (far right) on the USS Valley Forge (1950)
Photo © courtesy R. Sowell
By 1954 while living and working in Memphis formed a country band, "The
Starlite Wranglers", with bassist
Bill Black and began
working with Sam Phillips at Sun
The Starlite Wranglers
In July of 1954 at the request of Sam Phillips auditioned a young singer, Elvis Presley, recommended by Samís secretary
Marion Keisker. This audition
yielded the recording "Thatís Alright Mama" and began a 14 year career as
Elvis Presleyís guitarist, his first manager and a lifelong friendship
(not to mention ushered in an era that would forever change the face of
American popular music).
Elvis Presley, Bill Black, Scotty Moore
and Sam Phillips
Scotty, Elvis, Bill and Frank Page at the Louisiana Hayride Oct. 16, 1954
Photo © courtesy of Louisiana Hayride Archives - J. Kent
Scotty, Elvis and Bill -
The Blue Moon Boys
Photo courtesy EPE, Inc.©1996
Scotty backstage in Omaha, NE - May 20, 1956
Photo © J. Kent
Bill, D.J. and Scotty backstage in Omaha, NE - May 20, 1956
Photo © J. Kent
to hear Scotty and DJ interviewed (real
Toured and recorded throughout
the country with the
Blue Moon Boys (Elvis, Bill and eventually drummer DJ Fontana) appearing
on record, Television and Motion pictures until 1958.
Scotty at Elvis' Audubon Dr. home (c.1956)
Photo courtesy Saralyn
Scotty, Elvis and DJ first time in Vegas,
Scotty and Elvis rehearse for the Milton Berle show - June 5, 1956
Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley in "Loving You", Paramount
Photo by MPTV - Image courtesy MPTV.net
Hoyt Hawkins, George Klein, Elvis, D. J. Fontana,
Scotty and ?
Jailhouse Rock Sessions at MGM, Hollywood, CA - May 1957
Scotty, D.J and Elvis in Pan Pacific Auditorium
- Oct 28, 1957
In 1958 bought interests in and became V.P. of Fernwood records and produced a hit
record, "Tragedy", for Thomas Wayne Perkins, brother of Johnny Cash
guitarist, Luther Perkins.
In 1960 commenced recording sessions with Elvis at RCA
and also served as production manager at Sam Phillips Recording Service
which involved supervising all aspects of studio operation.
Elvis Scotty and D.J. on the Frank Sinatra Special Mar 26, 1960
In 1964 released a record of instrumentals called "The
Guitar that Changed the World" and relocated to Nashville to start Music
City Recorders, a studio on 19th avenue just off Music Row,
and started Belle Meade Records.
In 1968 appeared and recorded with Elvis for the last
time for the NBC "68 comeback" special at NBCís Burbank studios in
Elvis, Charlie Hodge, Scotty, Alan Fortas and D.J. at
NBC-TV Studios 1968
Photo courtesy Doug Ferich
In 1970 engineered Ringo Starís album "Beaucoup of Blues" at
Music City Recorders becoming the only person to work for the two most
influential independent labels in record history: Sun Records and Apple
In 1973 sold Memphis City Recorders and began freelance
engineering primarily out of Monument Studios.
In 1975 played and recorded with longtime friend Carl
Perkins for the first time on Carlís "EP Express" for Mercury
In 1976 bought the building where Monument studios was
housed and opened Independent Producers Corporation, a tape-duplication
business, but continued to do freelance engineering.
Scotty engineering in the '70s
From the mid 70ís to early 80ís engineered many
television shows for Opryland Productions with and for entertainers such
as Dolly Parton, Carol Burnett, Ann-Margrett, Bob Hope, Perry Como, Minnie
Pearl, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joey Heatherton and others.
In 1989 served as a consultant for a weekly ABC-TV
series titled "Elvis"
focusing on the early years.
In 1992 returned to Sun Studio in Memphis to begin an
album with Carl Perkins titled "706 ReUnion: A sentimental Journey"
released on Belle Meade Records.
In August performed live again for the first time since the 68
Comeback special with Carl at Ellis Auditorium as part of the "Good
Rockiní Tonight" show featuring the Sun Rhythm section, James Burton,
D.J. Fontana, Ronnie McDowell and the Jordanaires followed by a small tour
Scotty and Carl Perkins in Memphis
Photo © courtesy Alan
Advertisement for a show during the 1993 European tour
courtesy Peter J. Dijkema
The Jordanaires, Scotty
Pete Pritchard at Wembley Conference Ctr., London
courtesy P. Pritchard)
In 1993, with D.J., appeared in a Telethon in Jackson,
Tennessee with Carl Perkins.
Later that year in response to a letter from Mike Eldred, guitarist
for Lee Rockerís band Big Blue, traveled to Memphis to meet and record
Mike Eldred, Scotty,
Henree DeBaun and Lee Rocker - Big Blue
In 1994 played on a session at the request of and
produced by Gary Tallent, bass player for Bruce Springsteenís E St. Band
with Sonny Burgess and in October appeared in a pay-per-view Elvis Tribute
at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis (click for
pictures). On October 16 appeared agin with Carl and Ronnie in
Shreveport to commemorate the 40th anniversary
of their first Louisiana Hayride appearance.
Scotty and Keith Richards at Levon Helm's studio in NY
Photo by Jim Harrington
In 1997 reunited with D.J. Fontana to record the
tribute album "All the King's Men" which featured several guest
artists including The Bill Black Combo, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, Levon Helm, Jim
Neilson and others (see Goin Back To Memphis,
and Duece and a Quarter for more pics).
Chet Atkins and Scotty cast hand prints for Guitar Center
Photo © Gibson
On September 26, 1997 is inducted into Guitar Center's
Rockwalk in Hollywood and Nashville along with Chet Atkins, James
Burton, Duane Eddy, and Hank Garland. (click
for more pics)
Scotty, D.J. and George Harrison - April 1999
In April of 1999 toured again in the UK
with DJ. and met George Harrison and Robert
Plant while there. That July was honored
by a gathering of UK guitar legends in Sir George Martins studio while
Gibson Guitars unveils the limited production Scotty Moore signature ES-295.
Scotty and Sir George Martin
In 2000 Inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the fifteenth annual induction dinner.
Mike Leiber and Jerry Stoller are the presenters. In April while in
NY recorded segments for the "Good
Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records" documentary/album
with DJ and Paul McCartney (see
Scotty in the studio April 4, 2000
Paul McCartney, DJ and Scotty
In 2002 wins and is presented with the Orville
H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award along with U2 and Earl Scruggs. Also a major featured performer at many of the festivities surrounding the 25th
anniversary of Elvis week in and around Memphis Tennessee.
Earl Scruggs and Scotty each presented with a special instrument,
Gibson Tal Farlow for Scotty
(photo courtesy Gibson©)
Until 2007 was busy recording and engineering at Belle Meade Records and
periodically touring and performing with Lee
Rocker, Ronnie McDowell
and The Mike Eldred Trio among others.
Lee Rocker and Scotty Moore
photo © courtesy L. Drucker
early April of 2003 records an album in Nashville with
Lee of "Ten Years After" along with D.J. Fontana on drums,
Pete Pritchard on bass and Willie Rainsford on keyboards. The album
was be mixed at Alvin's Space Studios in England and released in May of
In December of 2003 is honored "inabstentia" by Gibson for his 50th
anniversary of playing Gibson guitars with a co-celebration party for
his 71st birthday at the Baldwin showcase in Nashville.
Scotty and D.J. Fontana April 13, 2004
Photo © courtesy Ella Shepherd
In April of 2004 was one of the first recipients of N.A.R.A.S. Memphis
Music Heroes Awards along with bandmates Bill Black and DJ
Fontana. On July 5th of 2004 participated in the "Global
Moment in Time" at Sun Studio in Memphis as part of the 50th
Anniversary of Rock and Roll Celebration.
George Klein, Isaac Hayes, Scotty, Justin Timberlake and
"Sam the Sham"- July 5, 2004
In December of 2004 is honored by a collection of Britain's top recording
artists that included Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Ron Wood, David
Gilmour, Bill Wyman and Albert Lee that gathered at
Abbey Road Studios in London.
He participated and the the event was filmed and recorded and eventually
released on DVD.
Scotty and Eric Clapton at Abbey Road - December 2004
Photo © Universal Music 2004
In August of 2005 Scotty did a small tour of
Norway and the UK and performed what he
considered to be his swan song in Europe on August 15 at the
London Jazz Cafe.
Scotty at the Notodden Blues Festival
Photo© courtesy Bucky Barrett
Scotty with Bucky Barrett and the Grundy - Pritchard Band
at the London Jazz Cafe
Photo © courtesy Clayton Ball
In the spring of 2007 Scotty produced 2 CDs in a collaboration of
friends called "The Mighty Handul"
Volumes One and Two. The first volume's release coincided with
what Scotty has decided was his final public performance on August 15 at
the "Last Man Standing" show during
the 30th Anniversary of Elvis week in Memphis, TN. It came 2 years
to the day after his last public performance (not appearance).
Scotty Moore leaves the stage after the 1st of 2 farewell performances - August 15, 2007
Photo © courtesy Phil
On November 26, 2007, as a member of the
Blue Moon Boys, was inducted into the Musicians
Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville along with the Nashville A team,
The Tennessee Two, The Wrecking Crew, the Funk Brothers and the Memphis
The Blue Moon Boys (induction by Vince Gill) at the MHOFM
Photo © Mandy Lunn / THE
On April 4, 2009, Scotty attended
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland as D.J. and
Bill were inducted into the sideman category. Accepting for Bill
were his daughter Nancy (Black) Shockley and his son Louis Black.
They were inducted E. St. band members Gary Tallent and Max Weinberg.
Also inducted at this time were long time friend Wanda Jackson and Jeff
Ron Wood, Jimmy Page, Scotty and Jerry Townsend at the HOF
- April 4, 2009
Photo courtesy Angela Justice
Scotty applauds as Bill and DJ are inducted - April 4, 2009
Louis, Nancy and DJ accept the awards - April 4, 2009
Scotty at the RnR HOF induction ceremony - April 4, 2009
On December 27th, 2011, Scotty had his 80th birthday. He celebrated
several weeks earlier in Memphis with a party
thrown by his good friend Kevin Kane.
Priscilla, Scotty, K. Kane and Gail at 80th birthday
celebration - Dec. 10, 2011
Photo by Andrew Vaughan © Gibson
In August of 2013 Gibson sponsored a party for Scotty
Moore in honor of the the release of his new book and the completion and
release of the first batch of 81 Limited Edition Scotty Moore ES295
Mike Voltz, Scotty and David Winters - Aug. 3, 2013
Photo © James V. Roy
January of 2014 Scotty was back in Memphis for an
interview with the BBC for an upcoming celebration of the 60th
anniversary of the recording of That's Alright Mama.
Scotty interviewed at Sun - Jan 28, 2014
Photo © Geoff Barker
To be continued...
For more biography:
That's Alright, Elvis: The Untold Story of
Guitarist and Manager, Scotty Moore
by Scotty Moore, James
L. Dickerson (Contributor) Available now on
Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley