Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley Guitarist and Rock Guitar Pioneer, Dead at 84
Posted by Michael Mueller on June 29, 2016 at 9:31 AM
Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's longtime guitarist and rock guitar pioneer, died Tuesday at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 84.
Known as the "guitar that changed the world," Scotty Moore was there when so much of early rock 'n' roll history happened—from helping a young Elvis Presley cut his debut track "That's All Right" to seeing that same young singer become the King of Rock 'n' Roll, playing on such timeless hits as "Hound Dog," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Mystery Train."
Elvis Presley guitar tab and song lessons
Born in Gadsden, Tennessee, Moore began playing guitar at age 8. He was a fan of country music and jazz and soon became enamored with the playing of Chet Atkins and Les Paul, emulating both legends in the way he drew from various musical styles to shape his own guitar style.
"Scotty Moore brilliantly blended country and blues guitar into groundbreaking proto-rockabilly," says Dave Rubin, noted blues and early rock guitar historian. "And beyond being the guitarist who turned the blues of 'That's All Right (Mama)' into the genre-busting music of post-World War II America, he was also a fine jazz player."
After serving in the U.S. Navy, Moore moved to Memphis, where, in 1954, legendary Sun Records founder Sam Phillips paired him and bassist Bill Black up with a promising young singer named Elvis Presley and asked them to feel out the hip-shaking hard strummer.
As Moore as recounted several times over the years, the session was not going all that great until Presley broke into a cover of bluesman Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's 1946 recording "That's All Right (Mama)." It caught the ear of Phillips, who told them to keep running through the tune, and that, as Moore says, was "the beginning of, how do you say it—all hell breaking loose!"