Bob Moore, Key Pillar of the "Nashville Sound", dies at 88`Breaking News
tags: music, Nashville, popular culture, country music
Bob Moore, an architect of the Nashville Sound of the 1950s and ’60s who played bass on thousands of popular recordings, including Elvis Presley’s “Return to Sender” and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” died on Sept. 22 at a hospital here. He was 88.
His death was confirmed by his wife, Kittra Bernstein Moore, who did not cite a cause.
As a mainstay of the loose aggregation of first-call Nashville session professionals known as the A-Team, Mr. Moore played on many of the landmark country hits of his day, among them Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and George Jones’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
All were No. 1 country singles, and each typified the intuitive, uncluttered style of playing that came to characterize the less-is-more Nashville Sound.
Mr. Moore, who mainly played the upright bass, also contributed the swaggering opening figure to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” as well as the indomitable bass line on Jeannie C. Riley’s skewering of hypocrisy, “Harper Valley P.T.A.” Both records were No. 1 country singles and major crossover hits, with Ms. Riley’s reaching the top of the pop chart in 1968.
Over 40 years Mr. Moore elevated the bass in country music from a subordinate timekeeper to an instrument capable of considerable tonal and emotional reach. By turns restrained and robust, his imaginative phrasing revealed a gift for seizing the dramatic moment within a recording or arrangement.
“No matter how good a musician you are technically, what really matters boils down to your taste in playing,” he once said. “A lot of guys can play a hundred notes a second; some can play one note, and it makes a lot better record.”
Mr. Moore’s forceful, empathetic playing extended well beyond the precincts of country music to encompass the likes of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” and Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night in Georgia,” among other pop and soul hits, as well as several notable rockabilly records.