Scotty Moore, the swingin’ guitarist that played on many crucial early Elvis recordings, has died at the age of 84.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Scotty Moore, the pioneering rock guitarist whose sharp, graceful style helped Elvis Presley shape his revolutionary sound and inspired a generation of musicians that included Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Bruce Springsteen, died Tuesday. He was 84…
For the now-legendary Sun sessions they covered a wide range of songs, from “That’s All Right” to “Mystery Train.” After “That’s All Right” began drawing attention, Presley, Moore and Black took to the road playing any gig they could find, large or small, adding drummer D.J. Fontana and trying their best to be heard over thousands of screaming fans.
The hip-shaking Presley soon rose from regional act to superstardom, signing up with RCA Records and topping the charts with “Heartbreak Hotel,” ”All Shook Up” and many other hits. Elvis was the star, but young musicians listened closely to Moore’s contributions, whether the slow, churning solo he laid down on “Heartbreak Hotel” or the flashy lead on “Hard-Headed Woman.”
He was treated like sh*t by The Colonel, and didn’t make any money working for Elvis, which embittered Scotty, and that truly sucks.
But Scotty found immortality in his rockabilly rhythms and tasty licks.
In Elvis’ breakthrough song “That’s All Right, Mama” (1954), Scotty’s solo in the middle eight is raw and basic, but kick ass:
In “Mystery Train” (1955), Scotty’s rockabilly playing propels the song forward:
Here is a nice snippet of a guy who breaks down the signature style of Moore, which is basically swinging inversions of major 7th chords, a rockabilly staple: