Scotty Moore

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Scotty Moore
Información personal
Nombre de nacimiento Winfield Scott Moore III
Nacimiento 27 de diciembre de 1931
Bandera de Estados Unidos Gadsden, Estados Unidos
Fallecimiento 28 de junio de 2016 (84 años)
Bandera de Estados Unidos Nashville, Estados Unidos
Nacionalidad Estadounidense
Información profesional
Ocupación Músico, Ingeniero de sonido
Años activo 1950–2009
Géneros Rock and roll, rockabilly
Instrumento Guitarra
Discográfica Sun
Sitio web

Winfield Scott "Scotty" Moore III (Gadsden, 27 de diciembre de 1931–Nashville, 28 de junio de 2016) fue un músico y compositor estadounidense, conocido mundialmente por tocar junto a Elvis Presley en la primera parte de su carrera, entre 1954 y los primeros años de Elvis en Hollywood.[1]

El crítico de rock Dave Marsh acredita a Moore con la invención de los acordes de poder, en la canción de 1957 de Presley "Jailhouse Rock", la introducción de la cual Moore y el baterista D.J. Fontana, según este último, "copió de una versión de swing de los años 40 de 'The Anvil Chorus'".[2]​ Moore ocupó el puesto 29 en la lista de la revista Rolling Stone de los 100 Mejores Guitarristas de Todos los Tiempos en 2011.[3]​ Fue incluido en el Salón de la Fama del Rock and Roll en 2000 y en el Salón de la Fama de la Música de Memphis en 2015. El guitarrista principal de los Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, ha dicho de Moore,

Cuando escuché "Heartbreak Hotel", supe lo que quería hacer en la vida. Era tan claro como el día. Todo lo que quería hacer en el mundo era poder tocar y sonar así. Todos los demás querían ser Elvis, yo quería ser Scotty."[4]


Winfield Scott Moore III nació cerca de Gadsden, Tennessee, hijo de Mattie (née Hefley) siendo el menor de cuatro hijos con 14 años de diferencia.[5][6]​ Aprendió a tocar guitarra de su familia y amigos a los ocho años de edad. Aunque era menor de edad al momento de enlistarse, Moore sirvió en el United States Navy en China y Corea desde 1948 hasta enero de 1952.[7][8]

Moore's early background was in jazz and country music. A fan of the guitarist Chet Atkins, Moore led a group called the Starlite Wranglers before Sam Phillips at Sun Records put him together with then-teenage Elvis Presley. The trio was completed with the bass player Bill Black, who brought a "rhythmic propulsion" that much pleased Phillips.[9]​ In 1954, Moore and Black accompanied Elvis on what would become the first legendary Presley hit, the Sun Studios session cut of "That's All Right", a recording regarded as a seminal event in rock and roll history.

The session, held the evening of July 5, 1954, proved entirely unfruitful until late in the night. As they were about to give up and go home, Presley took his guitar and launched into a 1946 blues number, Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right". Moore recalled,

All of a sudden, Elvis just started singing this song, jumping around and acting the fool, and then Bill picked up his bass, and he started acting the fool, too, and I started playing with them. Sam, I think, had the door to the control booth open ... he stuck his head out and said, "What are you doing?" And we said, "We don't know." "Well, back up," he said, "try to find a place to start, and do it again." Phillips quickly began taping; this was the sound he had been looking for.[10]

During the next few days, the trio recorded a bluegrass number, Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky", again in a distinctive style and employing a jury-rigged echo effect that Sam Phillips dubbed "slapback". A single was pressed with "That's All Right" on the A side and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" on the reverse.[11]

Phillips's rhythm-centered vision led him to steer Moore away from the pretty finger-picking style of Chet Atkins, which he deemed fine for pop or country, but not for the simple, gutsy sound Phillips was aiming at.[12]Simplify was the keyword.[9]

By his performance at the Louisiana Hayride of October 1954, Black and Moore were called the Blue Moon Boys.[13]

For a time, Moore served as Presley's personal manager.[14]: 85  They were later joined by the drummer D.J. Fontana. Beginning in July 1954, the Blue Moon Boys toured and recorded throughout the American South, and as Presley's popularity rose, they toured the United States and made appearances in various Presley television shows and motion pictures. The Blue Moon Boys, including Moore, appear in the few surviving 1955 home movie clips of Presley before he achieved national recognition. Moore, Black, and Fontana also appeared on the Dorsey Brothers, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and Ed Sullivan live TV shows from January 1956 to January 1957. Moore and Fontana also reunited on the 1960 Timex TV special with Frank Sinatra welcoming Presley upon his return from service in the U.S. Army.[cita requerida]

Moore played on many of Presley's most famous recordings, including "That's All Right", "Good Rockin' Tonight", "Milk Cow Blues Boogie", "Baby Let's Play House", "Heartbreak Hotel", "Mystery Train", "Blue Suede Shoes", "Hound Dog", "Too Much", "Jailhouse Rock", and "Hard Headed Woman". He called his solo on "Hound Dog" "ancient psychedelia".[15]

During the filming and recording of Loving You in Hollywood in early 1957, Moore and Black drove the boredom away by jamming with Presley between takes, but they usually saw little of Presley, who stayed only a couple of floors away from them. They grew hurt and resentful at the separation, which they came to perceive as willfully organized.[16]

They did not accompany Presley on the soundtrack recordings for his first movie, Love Me Tender, because 20th Century Fox had refused to allow him to use his own band, with the excuse that they could not play country.[17]​ By December 1956 they were experiencing financial difficulties, because there had been few performances since August: when there were, they received $200 a week (US$1993 in 2021 dollars[18]​), but only $100 (US$997 in 2021 dollars[18]​) when there were not. Moore and his wife were forced to move in with her three sisters and brother-in-law. In an interview with the Memphis Press-Scimitar that December, they spoke about this and about their lack of contact with Presley himself. The reason for the interview was their announcement that management had given them permission to record an instrumental album of their own, which RCA Victor would release. Such permission was needed in order to appear as a group without Presley.[19]

During Presley's 1957 tour of Canada, the concert promoter Oscar Davis offered to represent them as his manager. Moore and Black, who had seen Presley become a millionaire while still earning $200 a week themselves, were willing to work with Davis, but the backing vocalists, the Jordanaires, were not, because they did not trust him.[20]

Tension came to a climax right after the September 1957 sessions for Presley's first Christmas album. Moore and Black had been promised an opportunity to cut tracks after the session, on Presley's studio time. Yet when the session was over, they were told to pack up. That same evening, the duo wrote a letter of resignation. They had only had one raise in two years, and with the lack of personal appearances had to live off $100 a week. They also felt the Colonel was working against them. They had been denied virtually all access to Presley, and felt as if "they were no longer even permitted to talk to him."[21]​ Colonel Parker did not interfere, but RCA Victor executive Steve Sholes, who had little regard for the ability of Presley's band, hoped the separation would be permanent. Back in Memphis, a journalist found out and interviewed the duo. Presley responded with a press statement wishing them good luck, saying things could have been worked out if they had come to him instead of bringing it to the press. In an accompanying interview, Presley revealed that during the last two years people had tried to convince him to get rid of his band, so from his point of view he had stayed loyal to them.[22]

Presley was scheduled to appear in Tupelo within the next two weeks and started to audition new musicians. He performed with Hank Garland on guitar and D.J. Fontana's friend, Chuck Wiginton, on bass, but despite their musical ability it didn't feel the same to him. The week after his Tupelo engagement he hired them back on a per diem basis. In the meantime, the duo had played "a miserable two-week engagement at the Dallas State Fair". Moore declared there were no hard feelings, though Presley himself, according to biographer Guralnick, seems to have taken a more melancholic view. One day, Guralnick writes, Presley heard "Jailhouse Rock" on the radio "and declared, 'Elvis Presley and his one-man band,' with a rueful shake of his head."[23]

Moore and the Blue Moon Boys performed (and have additional small walk-on and speaking roles) with Presley in four of his movies (Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, and G.I. Blues) filmed in 1957, 1958, and 1960.

Early in 1958, when Presley was drafted, Moore began working at Fernwood Records and produced a hit record, "Tragedy", for Thomas Wayne Perkins, the brother of Johnny Cash's guitarist Luther Perkins.[cita requerida]

In 1960, Moore commenced recording sessions with Presley at RCA Victor, and also served as production manager at Sam Phillips Recording Service, which involved supervising all aspects of studio operation. Moore played on such Presley songs as "Fame and Fortune", "Such a Night", "Frankfort Special", "Surrender", "I Feel So Bad", "Rock-a-Hula Baby", "Kiss Me Quick", "Good Luck Charm", "She's Not You", "(You're the) Devil in Disguise", and "Bossa Nova Baby". Moore remained as a guitarist for the majority of songs recorded after Presley's work was dominated by Hollywood sessions; he mostly played rhythm guitar, however, with his last lead guitar work occurring by 1962.

In 1964, Moore released a solo album on Epic Records called The Guitar That Changed the World, played using his Gibson Super 400. For this effort he was fired by Sam Phillips. Moore reunited with Fontana and Presley for the NBC television special known as the '68 Comeback Special, again with his Gibson Super 400, which was also played by Presley. This special was the last time these musicians would play with Presley, and for Moore it was the last time he ever saw him.[24]

Estilo e influencia[editar]

Moore's playing on his Gibson with his unique finger-picking style using a thumbpick, as on the Sun and early RCA Victor recordings, represented a move of the Chet Atkins style into a more rockabilly mode. Moore's best performances are often considered precedent-setting.

Of Presley's first single "That's All Right", the critic Dave Marsh wrote that "Moore's guitar—especially the solo—toughens the song up and forces it to rock."[25]​ Though Marsh credits Presley with introducing "the vocal stutter" on "Baby Let's Play House", "Other than that, it's guitarist Scotty Moore's show, and he sets a few precedents of his own."[26]​ Of the other Sun recordings, Marsh cited the "urgent Scotty Moore guitar lick" as a standout element of "Mystery Train",[27]​ while "Good Rockin' Tonight" displays his "stinging guitar".[28]

In Marsh's description, the teamwork of Moore and other musicians turns the 1957 single and movie title song "Jailhouse Rock" into an "enduring smash for at least three reasons: the great walking bass, Scotty Moore's invention of power chording, and D.J. Fontana's drumming, which is halfway between strip joint rhumba and the perfect New Orleans shuffle."[29]

On the 1961, post-Army Presley single "Little Sister", "Scotty Moore comes up with his greatest post-Sun guitar lick and not only converts a comparatively humdrum Pomus-Shuman teen love triangle number into the best of Elvis's early sixties hits, but (together with D.J. Fontana's heavy-footed thunderation) gives more than a few pointers toward the metallic rock to come."[30]​ According to Presley discographer Ernst Jorgensen, however, Hank Garland was the lead guitarist on the song, while Moore played acoustic guitar.[31]

Moore is given credit as a pioneer rock 'n' roll lead guitarist, though he characteristically downplayed his own innovative role in the development of the style. "It had been there for quite a while", recalled Moore. "Carl Perkins was doing basically the same sort of thing up around Jackson, and I know for a fact Jerry Lee Lewis had been playing that kind of music ever since he was ten years old."[32]​ Paul Friedlander describes the defining elements of rockabilly, which he similarly characterizes as "essentially ... an Elvis Presley construction": "the raw, emotive, and slurred vocal style and emphasis on rhythmic feeling [of] the blues with the string band and strummed rhythm guitar [of] country".[33]​ In "That's All Right", the Presley trio's first record, Moore's guitar solo, "a combination of Merle Travis–style country finger-picking, double-stop slides from acoustic boogie, and blues-based bent-note, single-string work, is a microcosm of this fusion."[34]

Many popular guitarists cite Moore as the performer that brought the lead guitarist to a dominant role in a rock 'n' roll band.[cita requerida] Although some lead guitarists and vocalists, such as Chuck Berry and the blues legend BB King, had gained popularity by the 1950s, Presley rarely played his own lead while performing, instead providing rhythm guitar and leaving the lead duties to Moore. As a guitarist, Moore was a noticeable presence in Presley's performances, despite his introverted demeanor. He became an inspiration to many subsequent popular guitarists, including George Harrison, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.[35]​ While Moore was working on his memoir with co-author James L. Dickerson, Richards told Dickerson, "Everyone else wanted to be Elvis—I wanted to be Scotty."[14]: xiii  Richards has stated many times (in Rolling Stone magazine and in his autobiography, Life) that he could never figure out how to play the "stop time" break and figure that Moore played on "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" (Sun), and that he hopes it will remain a mystery.[cita requerida]


Cuando estaba con Presley, Moore primero tocaba una Gibson ES-295 (apodada "La Guitarra Que Cambio El Mundo")[36]​ antes de cambiarse a la Gibson L5[37]​ y después a una Gibson Super 400.[38]

Una de las piezas más importante del sonido de Moore en las grabaciones con Presley, además de sus guitarras, era el Ray Butts EchoSonic, usado por primera vez por Chet Atkins, un amplificador con tape echo incorporado, que le permitia tomar su característico slapback echo para conciertos.[38]

Últimos años y muerte[editar]

Moore tuvo que dejar de tocar guitarra unos años antes de su muerte debido a la artritis.[39]​ Murio el 28 de junio de 2016, en Nashville, Tennessee, a la edad de 84.[35]


Scotty Moore co-escribió las canciones "My Kind of Carrying On" y "Now She Cares No More" que fueron publicadas como Sun 202 en Sun Records en 1954 cuando estaba en el grupo Doug Poindexter and the Starlite Wranglers con Bill Black como el bajista. co-escribió la canción instrumental "Have Guitar Will Travel" en 1958 con Bill Black, que fue lanzado como un sencillo 45, 107, en el sello Fernwood Records.[40]


Por su pionera contribuicion, Moore fue premiado por el Rockabilly Hall of Fame. En el año 2000, ingreso al Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[41]



  1. Grimes, William (28 de junio de 2016). «Scotty Moore, Hard-Driving Guitarist Who Backed Elvis Presley, Dies at 84». The New York Times (en inglés estadounidense). ISSN 0362-4331. Consultado el 7 de julio de 2017. 
  2. Ernst Jorgensen, Elvis Presley: A Life in Music. The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998, p. 92. ISBN 0312263155
  3. «100 Greatest Guitarists: Scotty Moore». Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Archivado desde el original el 15 de junio de 2018. Consultado el 1 de enero de 2015. 
  4. «Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore dies aged 84». BBC News. 29 de junio de 2016. Consultado el 14 de noviembre de 2016. 
  5. Sweeting, Adam (30 de junio de 2016). «Scotty Moore obituary». The Guardian. Consultado el 15 de noviembre de 2016. 
  6. «Scotty Moore 1931–2016: The Guitarist Who Made ‘the King’ Rock». Daily Express. 2 de julio de 2016. Consultado el 15 de noviembre de 2016. 
  7. Rubin, Dave (1 de noviembre de 2015). Inside Rock Guitar: Four Decades of the Greatest Electric Rock Guitarists. Hal Leonard. pp. 25-26. ISBN 978-1-4950-5639-0. 
  8. «The Guitarist Who Co-Founded Rock'n'Roll—Scotty Moore Obituary». NME (en inglés estadounidense). 29 de junio de 2016. Consultado el 7 de julio de 2017. 
  9. a b Guralnick (1994), p. 95
  10. Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley. Little, Brown, 1994, p. 94-97 ISBN 0-316-33225-9
  11. Guralnick (1994), p. 102–04
  12. Jorgensen (1998), p. 18
  13. Jorgensen (1998), p. 19
  14. a b Moore, Scotty; Dickerson, James L. (2005). That's Alright, Elvis:The Untold Story of Elvis's First Guitarist and Manager. New York: G. Schirmer. ISBN 978-0-8256-7319-1. 
  15. Quoted in Guralnick (1994), p. 298
  16. Guralnick (1994), p. 391
  17. Jorgensen (1998), pp. 57–58.
  18. a b 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda. American Antiquarian Society.  1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States. American Antiquarian Society.  1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. «Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–». Consultado el April 16, 2022. 
  19. Guralnick (1994), p. 378.
  20. Guralnick (1994), p. 400-01
  21. Guralnick (1994), p. 432
  22. Guralnick (1994), p. 434
  23. Guralnick (1994), p. 435.
  24. Guralnick (1999), p. 317
  25. Marsh, Dave (1989). The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. London: Penguin Books. p. 213. ISBN 0140121080
  26. Marsh (1989), p. 317.
  27. Marsh (1989), p. 16.
  28. Marsh (1989), p. 46.
  29. Marsh (1989), p. 540.
  30. Marsh (1989), p. 288.
  31. Jorgensen (1998), p. 159.
  32. Cited in Peter Guralnick (1989), Lost Highway: Journeys & Arrivals of American Musicians, p. 104.
  33. Friedlander, Paul (1996). Rock and Roll: A Social History. Westview p. 45. ISBN 0813327253
  34. Friedlander (1996), p. 45.
  35. a b Grimes, William (28 de junio de 2006). «Scotty Moore, Hard-Driving Guitarist Who Backed Elvis Presley, Dies at 84». New York Times. p. A23. 
  36. Marcus, Greil; Guralnick, Peter; Sante, Luc; Gordon, Robert (2011). Rockabilly: The Twang Heard 'Round the World: The Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-7603-4062-2. 
  37. Carter, Walter (2007). Gibson Electric Guitar Book: Seventy Years of Classic Guitars. Hal Leonard. p. 42. ISBN 978-0879308957. 
  38. a b Hunter, Dave (2005). Guitar Rigs: Classic Guitar and Amp Combinations. Hal Leonard. pp. 40, 54. ISBN 978-0-87930-851-3. 
  39. «Arthritis silences notes, but Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's first guitarist as sharp as ever - Elvis Interviews». Consultado el 6 de octubre de 2018. 
  40. Unterberger, Richie. «Scotty Moore Biography». AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Consultado el 28 de febrero de 2014. 
  41. Kreps, Daniel (28 de junio de 2016). «Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley Guitarist, Dead at 84». Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. 

Enlaces externos[editar]