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Whistlin' Alex Moore

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Biography

One of the last of the old-time Texas barrelhouse pianists, Alex Moore was an institution in Dallas, his lifelong home. A colorful entertainer with a poetic gift for rambling improvisations, Moore had one of the longest recording careers in blues history (his first sides for Columbia were made in 1929; his final session was in 1988). Yet it was hardly one of the most prolific, as there were usually lengthy gaps between sessions. The spontaneous, autobiographical nature of his latter-day recordings imbue his albums with a special charm. Moore began performing in the early '20s, playing clubs and parties around his hometown of Dallas; he usually performed under the name Whistlin' Alex. In 1929, he recorded his first sessions, which were for Columbia Records. The sides didn't gain much attention and Moore didn't record again until 1937, when he made a few records for Decca. Between his first and second sessions, he continued to play clubs in Dallas. The time span between his second session in 1937 and his third was even longer than the time between his first and second -- Moore didn't record again until 1951, when RPM/Kent had him cut several songs. Throughout the '40s and '50s, Moore performed in clubs throughout Dallas, occasionally venturing to other parts of Texas. Alex Moore's national break coincided with the blues revival of the early '60s. Arhoolie Records signed the pianist in 1960, and those records helped make him a national name. For the rest of the '60s, he played clubs and festivals in America, as well as a handful of festival dates in Europe. Although he didn't make many records in the '70s and '80s, Moore continued to perform until his death in 1989. The year before his death, he recorded a final session for Rounder Records, which was released as the Wiggle Tail album. ~ Jim O'Neal & Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Born:

22 November 1899 in Dallas, TX

Genre
Years Active:

'20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

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