Wild Bill Moore

WE'RE GONNA ROCK - Moore recorded this in Detroit, Dec. 18, 1947. Lasted 1 week on billboard chart, at # 14, in 1948. Bill Moore, vocals and tenor sax; Paul Hucklebuck Williams, baritone sax; Floyd Taylor or TJ Fowler, piano; Phil Gilbeaux, trumpet; Herman Hopkins, bass; Reetham Matlett, drums.

Detroit's Wild Bill Moore, (b. Texas, 1918; d. 1983) played sax early in life but his main interest was boxing. He was Michigan's amateur Golden Gloves light heavyweight champ for 1937, later turned pro, went back to sax and by 1945 was recording tenor sax with the Slim Gaillard Orchestra, on the Queen label. First recorded on his own in 1945, for the Apollo label. He first made the charts with "We're Gonna Rock," in 1948. Many of his recordings were made with session men from the Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams band, such as this track and his hit "Bubbles." The song included here was renamed "We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll" in an early-50's LP issue, the original 78 RPM single being titled simply "We're Gonna Rock."  He was featured on Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me," in 1971.

moore.jpg (8550 bytes)   moore2.jpg (5203 bytes)

ROCK AND ROLL -Modern records was an R&B label founded in 1945 and run by Jules Bihari in Los Angeles. When Ace Records of London bought the Modern Records catalogue in 1983, they spent some time in the studio with Bihari. In a vault was an old acetate master, with the words "I Want To Rock And Roll," scrawled on it, but no artist named. When they put in on the turntable, Bihari said, "That's Scatman Crothers singing, but we never issued it." Bihari's memory was fuzzy, because the recording had indeed been issued, in 1949 as Modern 674, and issued as "Rock And Roll" by Wild Bill Moore. Some discographies agree that Crothers was indeed the singer, and some say Wild Bill Moore sang it himself and make no mention of Crothers ever having recorded for Modern Records. Here is one discography listing for the song.

"Rock And Roll." Wild Bill Moore tenor sax with unk. tp, bar; Milt Buckner, p; unk. sbs, dms; “Scatman“ Crothers, vcl -1. Los Angeles, 1948

Here is Scatman Crothers bio: Singing, dancing and playing drums in high school led Sherman Crothers (b. Terre Hut, Ind., 1910; d. 1986) to a career in music. In the 1930's, he played with T-Bone Walker and Louis Armstrong, and formed a big band in 1936, getting the nickname "Scatman." He moved to L. A. in 1944 and began recording. His wide repertoire then included love songs, bebop, blues, swing, scat, and old jazz. This recording was made when "rock and roll" was the name of a dance. In 1950, his career moved to acting, in movies and on television, and he is most remembered for his role as Louie, the singing garbage man, on the 1970's TV show, "Chico And The Man." He did 46 movies, including "The Shining," and "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," did many cartoon voices, and the Johnny Carson show 18 times.

Scatman Crothers...scatman.jpg (4182 bytes)

The following bio of Wild Bill Moore is courtesy of Joseph Scott:

Born William M. Moore in Houston, 13 June 1918. Started on alto, switched to tenor. Seems not to have adopted the nickname "Wild" until c. late '46 (leading to potential confusion with at least two other Bill Moores recording jazz in the mid-'40s).First recording session was in New York on 6 April 1944, in a small group backing vocalist Christine Chatman (later recorded for Aristocrat) for Decca. The uptempo "Bootin' The Boogie" has a solo by Bill; it's in the same style he used on his other mid-'40s jump blues solos, strident and imaginative. [note: Christine Chatman was wife of "Memphis Slim," Peter Chatman] Next session was the c. August '45 one with Helen Humes in L.A. for Philo: "Unlucky Woman," "Every Now And Then," "He May Be Your Man," "Blue Prelude," "Be-Baba-Leba." Then five takes of four titles on 11 October '45 with Slim Gaillard And His Orchestra in L.A. for Queen: Bill solos (briefly) on "Traveling Blues" only, and discographies and booklet notes saying he played on other '45 Gaillard stuff (e.g. "Vout Orenee," "Please Wait For Me") are wrong. JATP L.A. 26 November '45 was not recorded. Recorded 4 December '45 as a member of Shifty Henry's All Stars in L.A. for Apollo, backing blues singer Duke Henderson. Got some typical good solos on these. Ten takes of nine titles (all ten takes included on Duke Henderson's Delmark CD Get Your Kicks). Also recorded an instrumental at the session with Shifty Henry's band (4 Dec. '45), "Boulevard Boogie." It's available on Jack McVea's CD on Delmark, "McVoutie's Central Avenue Blues."

  1. We're Gonna Rock, 1947 (first minute)
  2. Rock and Roll, 1948 (first minute)

The RealAudio files require the latest version of the Player.  It's free!

 getfree.gif (6150 bytes)