In the Moody family, 16 is really the magic age. At sweet 16, a Moody is ready to go out on the road as a musician without having to be in the parents' band, that is. And at 16, any of the Moodys are more than ready, having been performing with their parents since they were small children. David Moody is one of the younger members of the Moody Brothers and in the early years of the new millennium, his biggest splash on the recording scene was still the recording "Cotton Eyed Joe," one of two records that brought the Moody Brothers Grammy Awards. His busy activities in recording studios as a guitarist, producer, songwriter, and engineer almost ensure that the name David Moody will continue coming out on records. Just the fact that his name is Moody might be enough to guarantee that. The Moody family has been a presence on the North Carolina and greater Appalachian recording scene for several generations. Father Dwight Moody is a journeyman Appalachian fiddler, who as a young man was associated with Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys. Many a gig and recording session later, he was still playing on, although officially "retired," as a member of Charlotte's the Briarhoppers in its post-disco incarnation. Speaking of discos, when the Moody Brothers' hit record defied music industry conventions and began getting played in the discos, as well as at raves and bar and bat mitzvahs, it was the fiddle of papa Dwight that the dancers swung their rears to; their father had recorded a fiddle track for the record at an age when most men are lucky just to keep their teeth glued in all day.
The eventual career destination of David Moody, like all the other brothers was, believe it or not Le Billy Bob's Country Western Saloon de Disney Village. In other words, the performing stage at Frontierland in the Paris Eurodisney, where Moody and his brothers have presented music for "le Line Dancer Show, danse Country Western" since 1992. The Moody Brothers band officially began in 1978, the year of David Moody's 16th birthday. The boys all started in show business singing gospel music on their father and mother's local television show during the late '60s and early '70s. The elder Carlton Moody had been the first to launch a career apart from his parents. The brothers made their European debut in the early '80s as the backup band for Grand Ole Opry star and fellow North Carolinian George Hamilton IV, whose son George Hamilton V (or Hege V) later became a songwriting partner of several of the brothers. From the beginning, the Moody Brothers' tasty combination of folk, country, and bluegrass music was well-received.
The group struggled, but began to taste success after beginning a series of country music albums for their own Lamon label. The fourth of these recordings, the aforementioned "Cotton Eyed Joe," literally took over the radio with a sound nobody was expecting. Listeners who absolutely could not stand country music, as in 13-year-old girls, became fanatic about the record. The brothers received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1985 for this record, judged even by cynics as at least responsible for distracting dancers from the "Macarena" and eventually even the "Thong Song." The record hit big in England and the band was invited to Europe to tour on its own; four years later, there was yet another Grammy nomination in the same category for a much stronger piece of work, an intricate album cut entitled "The Great Train Song Medley." In 1986, the group performed at the Inter Country Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, leading to a collaboration with the Czech country music artist Jiri Brabec.
Two years later, Brabec and his band Country Beat combined with the Moody Brothers to cut the album Friends for Czechoslovakia on the nationalized Supraphon label, an official organ of the country's Communist party. Distributed in the U.S. and western Europe by Lamon, the album went on to sell more than 100,000 copies, definitely establishing it as the most popular album of communist country & western music ever made. Perhaps David Moody has been making up for this with his own solo activities, releasing his own gospel sides and playing guitar on several records with spiritual groups, such as the Greenes and the Dove Brothers. He has developed into a double and even triple threat in the studios, having had much experience with his family's Lamon enterprise. Working with artists such as hitmaker Lou Christie, the youngest Moody brother sometimes winds up producing, as well as picking. He has his own website at www.davemoody.com. ~ Eugene Chadbourne