August 2015

Scotty Moore- First Rock Guitarist

MooreScotty Moore was Elvis Presley’s guitarist. Keith Richards once expressed that he wanted to be Scotty Moore after he heard Heartbreak Hotel. He also said that when the entire world wanted to be Elvis, he wanted to be a Scotty. Scotty Moore, guitarist for Elvis Presley passed away on June 28th, 2016 in Nashville. He was 84 years old. Even though he occasionally performed solos, he was not very well recognized among artists like Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen and Richards. However, Scotty Moore had a great role in transforming a guitarist’s role as much as Elvis shaped the Rock’ n Roll of the generation. Scotty Moore, through his style, has changed the role of guitarist in a band.

Scotty Moore was From Gadsden, a town in Tennessee. He moved from Tennessee to Memphis in the early years of 1950s with Bill Black- a bassist, both of who were then in Doug Poindexter’s Starlite Wranglers. The band later cut records with Sun Studio where Moore had the opportunity to meet and befriend Sam Phillip, who was Sun’s owner. This meeting with Sam Philip led to Moore meeting Presley, who was then a very young singer. Both Moore and Black were invited and then the first song was recorded when Presley got bored and started performing That’s Alright by Arthur Crudup and Moore and Black joining him.

Initial performances of Moore showed his ingenuity and a touch of his hillbilly flavor. However, after he started recording for Presley, his style started to change as his work was more of filling the holes in the performance with countries, blues and other different mixes. It was thorough this, the Country-blues rockabilly emerged. There was a magic in Moore’s music, the way he played and the movement of his fingers. But Moore always said that he was simple filling in the holes.