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Whistlin' Alex Moore

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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Broadcasting The Blues: Black Blues In The Segregation Era

Disc 1

1. Baby, Please Don't Go

2. Match Box Blues

3. Yonder Come The Blues

4. Yellow Dog Blues

5. Walkin' Blues

7. My Soul Is A Witness

8. Long Hot Summer Days

9. Lucky Holler

10. Penitentiary Moan

11. Old Country Stomp

12. Dry Bone Shuffle

13. Mysterious Coon

15. You Shall

17. I Heard The Voice Of A Porkchop

18. Spike Driver Blues

20. Fare Thee Well Blues

21. Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home

22. Travelin' Blues

Disc 2

1. Chocolate To The Bone

3. Tennessee Dog

5. Washboard Cut-Out

6. Flying Crows Blues

7. Rules And Regulations 'Signed Razor Jim'

8. Ground Hog Blues

10. Wednesday Evening She Left Me

11. Lonesome Day Blues

14. Black, Brown And White

15. Pratt City Blues

16. Blues Before Sunrise

17. Blues Trip Me This Morning

18. Poor Man Blues

21. Cotton Pickin' Blues

23. Number 29

24. Jim Crow Blues

Disc 3

1. Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues

3. Policy Dream Blues

4. North Memphis Blues

6. They Ain't Walkin' No More

7. Ice Pick Blues

9. Parchman Farm Blues

10. Shelby County Workhouse Blues

11. Working On The Project

13. Let's Have A New Deal

14. Tallahatchie River Blues

15. St. Louis Cyclone Blues

17. Fire Department Blues

18. Give Me A 32-30

20. Build A Cave

21. Crying Mother Blues

23. The Dirty Dozen

24. Three Ball Blues

25. Milk Cow Blues

26. Cool Drink Of Water Blues

27. Some Summer Day

30. Spirit Of Boogie Woogie

31. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room

x

Track List: Rude Dudes

Disc 1

2. Elevator Papa, Switchboard Mama

3. The Boy In The Boat

4. My Handy Man

5. Electrician Blues

6. Lollypop

7. She Showed It All

8. If It Don't Fit (Don't Force It)

9. Take It Easy Greasy

11. Mashing That Thing

12. Let Me Play With Your Poodle

13. I'm Gonna Keep My Hair Parted

14. Sweet Petunia

15. The Dirty Dozen No. 2

16. We Can Sell That Thing

17. Banana In Your Fruit Basket

19. He's Just My Size

Disc 2

2. If You Don't Give Me What I Want

3. One Hour Mama

6. Terrible Operation Blues

7. Cigarette Blues

8. Southern Can Mama

12. Meat Cuttin' Blues

14. The Best Jockey In Town

15. Kitchen Man

16. Blue Bloomer Blues

17. My Pencil Won't Write No More

18. Ain't That A Mess

19. How You Want Your Rollin' Done?

20. My Man O' War

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