Alice Moore

b. 1904 in Tennessee, d. c. 1950 in St. Louis, MO, active 1920s - 1930s.

Alice Moore was one of the best classic blues singers and pianists from the early St. Louis scene. If a listener associates darkness of mood with blues, then she is even Moore the champion for having concocted "Black Evil Blues," one of the most depressing records ever made. She was also known as "Little" Alice Moore and Little Alice From St. Louis in a career that included collaborations with the likes of Kokomo Arnold as well as a penchant for kooky instrumental experimentation. While there could hardly be less accordion than there is on a typical Midwest country blues record, Moore managed to use the instrument on some sides, as well as making use of trombone accompaniment by Ike Rodgers that was hardly typical.

She had two main periods of recording activity: the first in the late '20s, followed by a resurgence in 1934 that lasted through 1937. Her earliest sides for Paramount have reportedly inspired all manner of mayhem on the part of record collectors. Moore's boyfriend was apparently the well-known bluesman Peetie Wheatstraw, who appears along with Arnold on sides that contain interesting historical facts about the music scene, as well as just plain good blues: When Moore says, "Here comes Peetie drunk again" in the middle of the song "Dark Angel," it can be assumed she means business. L.A. Moore and A. LaMoore were some of her other, even more thinly disguised pseudonyms, the use of which also seems to have inspired musical comment, as in the lyric, "Alice Moore is my real right name." Her biggest hit was "Blue, Black and Evil," mean enough to require three different versions to be recorded. ~ Eugene Chadbourne