The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s quarterly program series Nashville Cats: A Celebration of Music City Session Players returns on Saturday, February 17, with a salute to legendary bassist Bob Moore.
The 2:00 p.m. program, which will be held in the Museum’s Ford Theater, is included with Museum admission and is free to Museum members.
In a career spanning sixty years, Nashville native Bob Moore has played bass on over 17,000 recordings, making him one of the most recorded musicians in history. From the 1950s on, Moore contributed to a host of #1 country hits including Bobby Helms’ “Fraulein,” Marty Robbins’ “El Paso,” Roger Miller’s “King of the Road,” Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and Conway Twitty’s “Hello Darlin’.” Moore also played on classic recordings like Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”
As a member of Nashville’s celebrated “A-Team,” his impeccable meter along with his subtle yet commanding style made Moore’s bass lines the foundation for a myriad of artists recording in Nashville for four decades. Moore’s studio credits span several genres with artists including Julie Andrews, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Dylan, Connie Francis, Burl Ives, George Jones, Quincy Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wayne Newton, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Tammy Wynette and many more. Moore even saw success on his own accord with the 1961 instrumental pop hit “Mexico” on Monument Records.
Bob Loyce Moore was born November 30, 1932, in Nashville to humble beginnings. Barely out of diapers, he was drawn to the sounds of his grandmother’s phonograph and broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry. By age 15 Moore had transitioned from shining shoes outside the Ryman Auditorium to playing bass onstage with country comedians and Opry regulars Jamup & Honey. Soon afterward, Moore landed a prestigious job playing bass for Paul Howard's Arkansas Cotton Pickers, which would help open the door for him to back the likes of Eddy Arnold, Jimmy Dickens, Flatt & Scruggs and Andy Griffith, among others.
By age 20 Moore was playing with Red Foley in Springfield, Missouri, and Marty Robbins in Nashville, Tennessee. Tired of commuting between the two cities, Moore returned in 1954 to Nashville where he became primarily a studio musician. As part of the “A-Team” of virtuosos, Moore helped usher in the lushly orchestrated Nashville Sound, which attracted top artists and producers to Music City.
He worked regularly on sessions with Elvis Presley and, in 1959, he was an early investor in Monument Records, where he served as Roy Orbison’s orchestra leader. Moore was also a sideman for Jerry Lee Lewis from 1983-1985.
Although widely known as a successful country session musician, Moore also performed at the Newport Jazz Festival and recorded with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, experimental rock guitarist Harvey Mandel and premier jazz guitarist Hank Garland, to name a few.
The interactive Nashville Cats programs include in-depth, one-on-one interviews with the players themselves; audio-visual elements, including vintage recordings, photos and film clips culled from the Museum’s Frist Library and Archive; and, in some cases, instrument demonstrations. Visitors will be encouraged to ask questions. Museum Instrument Curator Bill Lloyd hosts the sessions.
Museum memberships ($25/adults and $10/youth) include one year of unlimited admission to the Museum, discounts in the Museum Store, SoBro Grill and Hatch Show Print, and more. Membership support helps fund research, education and public programs that make country music history available to a worldwide audience.
These programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.