Rest in Peace, Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore at Lemuria Books in 2013
The staff at UPM were saddened to learn of the death of Scotty Moore last week. Moore, Elvis Presley's longtime guitarist and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, died last Tuesday at his home in Nashville.

Along with bass player Bill Black, Presley and Moore formed a trio that recorded an old blues number called "That's All Right, Mama." It turned out to be Elvis's first single and the defining record of his early style, with a trilling guitar hook that swirled country and blues together and minted a sound with unforgettable appeal.

Moore and Black backed Presley on dozens of legendary rock and roll songs over the next decade, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Mystery Train," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock" and "(You're the) Devil in Disguise."

Their immediate success launched a whirlwind of touring, radio appearances, and Elvis's first break into movies. Scotty was there every step of the way as both guitarist, film co-star and even manager.

After parting ways, Moore stayed in the music business and was profoundly influential. Moore went on to work with such artists as Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Carl Perkins, Jeff Beck, Levon Helm, Ronnie Wood and more. Moore was also named to Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists list.

Even late night host Conan O’Brien took a break from telling jokes to pay a passionate tribute to one of his childhood heroes. In the clip below, O’Brien recalled a moment back in 1998 when the legendary guitar player sat in with the band on "Late Night With Conan O’Brien."

We had the great pleasure to work with Scotty and James L. Dickerson on his autobiography Scotty And Elvis: Aboard the Mystery TrainThe book is Scotty’s true life story of how he helped transformed popular music and created a sound that became a prototype for so many rock guitarists to follow.