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SCOTTY MOORE,
1931-2016

The guitarist who backed Elvis Presley on his early groundbreaking sessions for Sun and RCA has died. Scotty Moore, whose lone solo album was aptly titled  The Guitar That Shook the World!, died Tuesday at his home in Nashville. He was 84.

With bassist Bill Black, Moore married the subtle phrasing of country pickers such as Chet Atkins with the formidable attack of jazz guitarists such as Tal Farlow to create a rock ‘n’ roll blueprint that would influence Keith Richards, George Harrison, Jimmy Page, Jack White and countless others.

Moore was particularly effective in helping Presley push blues songs outside their traditional framework and into a hybrid area that others had not explored. He made Presley’s earliest blues covers—“That’s Alright,” “Baby Let’s Play House,” “Mystery Train”—some of  strongest recordings of his career.

Once Presley moved to RCA, Moore’s style grew increasingly aggressive as the featured soloist on records such as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock” and  “Too Much.” Moore and Black, who recorded "My Kind of Carryin' On" for Sun in ’54 before working with Presley, left the King in 1957, complaining about low wages, and would have found themselves out of jobs regardless when Presley was drafted into the Army a year later.

Moore, who had moved to Memphis in 1952 after a stint in the Navy, left for Nashville in 1964 where he worked as an engineer and producer at his own studio, Music City Recorders. He reunited with Presley on a handful of sessions in the 1960s, most famously for a segment on Elvis, the King’s televised 1968 comeback special.

In the 1990s, he recorded 706 ReUnion: A Sentimental Journey  with Carl Perkins. After publishing his autobiography That's Alright Elvis, he and Presley drummer D. J. Fontana recorded All the King's Men in 1997 with guests influenced by Moore, among them Richards, Jeff Beck and Ron Wood.

Moore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2006. 

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