Carl "Deacon" Moore - "A Woman Gets Tired" mp3 - and Margie Moore turns 93!
A recent photograph of Marjorie Moore, with her daughter Carol
As readers of this blog, or of the book, know - Carl Moore was credited as co-composer of "Gambler's Blues" when it was recorded by Fess Williams in 1927. "Gambler's Blues" would soon become known as "St. James Infirmary" - and credit for authorship would change; first to Don Redman, and then to Joe Primrose.
But Carl Moore (along with Phil Baxter) was the first of these. He is one of the most interesting of the characters that I explore in I Went Down to St. James Infirmary. After many years as a big band leader - and dapper, tuxedoed, comical hillbilly hick - he became one of the first (and one of the most popular) country music djs. Although he retired in 1969, Dave Sichak's website Hillbilly-Music dawt com announced that in 2008 Carl "Squeakin' Deacon" Moore had the most visited page of the many disk jockeys the site features.
Carl Moore was born in Paragould, Arkansas in 1902. He died in
Huntington Beach, California, in 1985. I telephoned his wife, the lovely Margie Moore, a few days ago. She celebrated her 93rd birthday this past weekend!
Happy Birthday Marjorie!!
In celebration of Margie's birthday, I am posting the fourth - and last - song of Carl's complete recorded output. Much of Carl's inspiration came from the vaudeville and minstrel stages, and this song - written by Paul Carter and C.H. Barker (who are today as obscure as songwriters can get) - was popular on vaudeville. Deacon drawls, the orchestra swings.
To hear this song, click on: "A Woman Gets Tired" MP3. Be warned that a few seconds in it might sound like the recording skips a beat. I edited the file a bit in order to removed a loud click.
Investigations in the shadowy world of early jazz-blues in the company of Blind Willie McTell, Louis Armstrong, Don Redman, Irving Mills, Carl Moore, and a host of others, and where did this dang song come from anyway.
Canadian Customers: $26.00 Can
International Customers: $29.50 U.S.
To read the intro - click below, then scroll down:
Also available (although, of necessity, at higher cost) through amazon.com
“A goldmine of information, with an amazing cast of characters. The definitive statement on the subject — and a very entertaining read to boot.”
Rob Walker, author of Buying In and Letters from New Orleans
"No biography of Irving Mills has been written. The best short treatment of his life and work is in Harwood (I Went Down To St. James Infirmary)."
Terry Teachout, author of Duke, A Life of Duke Ellington
"Harwood is a rara avis. That this Irish-Canadian finds within him the inspired doggedness to try and unravel this massive ball of tangled yarn not just once, but now for the third time in a decade and a half is an enigma in itself. He does it in amazing detail ... This work is unique, so if you don’t have it, get it." Malcolm Shaw, Vintage Jazz Mart Review, Summer 2016
The purpose of this site:
This blog is an outgrowth of my book I Went Down to St. James Infirmary. It is an invitation for further discussion about the song, the times, the players, and the business of music as they relate to "St. James Infirmary," especially in the early days. Some years ago I set out to unravel what I could of the mystery surrounding the song "St. James Infirmary." There were obvious questions, such as: How old is the song and where did it come from? How, when the first recording was credited to "Moore-Baxter" and the second to "Redman," did Joe Primrose wind up with credit for the song's composition? Who were all these people? But more fundamental questions also emerged. Questions about the nature of song-writing, about the business of selling songs, about music as merchandise. I wrote a book about all this. You can find out more about the book at: http://www.stjamesinfirmary.ca/
And so here, on this blog, I hope to bring together some of the threads woven into the book. Also, to explore anything else of interest as related to the song, to the period of its initial popularity, and to the divide between the art and the business of song-writing.