Spencer Moore Dead at 92
Spencer Moore, who became famous for his contributions to country and folk music, has died at the age of 92. Moore continued to play guitar and perform at small clubs up until he passed away on June 5 at a nursing in Chilhowie, Va.
Considered one of the founding fathers of Blue Ridge Mountain music, Moore's interest in music first peaked when his family moved next door to iconic blind fiddle player G.B. Grayson, whose songs have been rerecorded by the likes of Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger.
Moore, who was one of 11 children, discovered that he wanted to become a musician when he was 14. He was attending the Whitetop Mountain Folk Festival and witnessed a performance of 'Three Little Babies' by Eleanor Roosevelt. The live performance changed him forever, marking the start of his musical career.
In the latter half of the 1930s, Moore started to perform with his brother Joe under the name the Moore Brothers. The duo began touring, and it wasn't long before they found themselves performing in a tent show with the Carter family.
By the time the 1960s were almost ready to roll around, Moore began getting noticed by bigger country and folk acts. In 1959, one of folk music's biggest field collectors and ethnomusicologist, Alan Lomax, caught ear of Moore's songs while looking for Blue Ridge Mountain music. Together with singer Shirley Collins, Lomax recorded several of Moore's tunes, including 'Jimmy Sutton' and 'The Girl I Left Behind.'
During the later years of his life, Moore continued to reside in the Blue Ridge Mountains, spending his free time strumming away on an acoustic guitar that was 50+ years old. The only solo work he ever released was in 2007 when Josh Rosenthal of Tompkins Square teamed up with the icon for an eponymous record of Moores' songs.
Funeral services for Moore, who was rumored to have known more than 600 folk songs by heart, were held on June 7. He is survived by wife, infant son, nieces and nephews. Rest in peace, Spencer Moore.
Watch a Clip of Spencer Moore Performing 'John Henry'