Scotty Moore (and some other guy)
1931 - 2016
Way back in 1954, a young man walked into the Sun Record recording studios in Memphis, TN and said he wanted to make a record for his mother. Sun executive Sam Phillips rounded up a couple of back up musicians, bassist Bill Black and guitarist Scotty Moore, and that singer, Elvis Presley, recorded "That's Alright, Mama".
The rest, as the old cliche goes, is history.
Scotty Moore died earlier this week at the age of 84. His is quite a story.
Moore, Black, and drummer D. J. Fontana became the early back up musicians for Presley and are part of some of Elvis' greatest records - Hound Dog, Don't Be Cruel, and Heartbreak Hotel, to name only a few. They were featured in some of Presley's earlier movies, and were part of the landmark 1968 NBC TV special, "Elvis", that is generally credited with reviving the career of Elvis Presley.
If you want to get a real flavor of the work of Scotty Moore with the young Elvis, get a hold of the album, "Elvis, The Sun Sessions". Great, great stuff.
Moore never got rich from his association with Presley, and neither he, Black, nor Fontana were a part of the "Vegas phase" of Elvis' career. He is recognized as one of the great guitarists of all time. He is in Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 100 rock and roll guitarists of all time and is a member of the rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
How Moore was regarded by his peers can best be summarized in this quote:
"All I wanted to do in the world was to be able to play and sound like that. Everyone else wanted to be Elvis. I wanted to be Scotty."
- Keith Richards
It is hard to find video of Presley and Moore together, so instead, how about Moore working with another great, Eric Clapton in a tribute to Elvis.
RIP Scotty Moore.