Remembering Guitar Legend Scotty Moore

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 21:03:52-04

Legendary guitar player Scotty Moore passed away in Nashville on Tuesday at the age of 84, leaving behind a legacy that includes playing guitar for Elvis Presley and influencing guitar players around the world. 

"He set the standard for Rock and Roll guitar," Michael Gray, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Editor, said. 

Moore was an accomplished guitar player prior to meeting Elvis, but in 1954, his whole life changed when he was asked to vet the future star.

"Sam Phillips had asked Scotty to basically audition Elvis, to see if he was any good or not," Gray explained. 

Luckily for the music world, Moore recognized Elvis' talent and became Presley's first guitar player and manager.

On July 5, 1954, Moore worked with Elvis to record his first big hit, "That's Alright". 

"Scotty was there when the big beat was born, at the birth of Rockabilly," Gray said. 

Moore started his career in Memphis with Elvis, but soon found his way to Nashville, recording multiple songs with Elvis at Historic RCA Studio B.

His guitar playing was so influential that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones once said, "Everybody else wanted to be Elvis, I wanted to be Scotty." 

Moore played his Gibson guitar on songs such as "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", "Devil In Disguise", and "Blue Suede Shoes". 

"He tired to compliment the swinger, he didn't try to overshadow the singer," Gray explained. "I think that's also in many ways how he lived his life." 

While living in Nashville, Moore recorded plenty of music, but he also spent much of his life serving others, whether it was helping artists like Ringo Starr record at his studio on 19th Avenue called Music City Recorders, or just offering advice, and a smile. 

"I've never seen him refuse to take a picture with somebody or sign an autograph," Gray said. "Just very, very pleasant." 

In 2000, Moore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and when Rolling Stone published a list of the top 100 guitar players of all time, Moore was 29 on the list. 

At this time there are no plans for a public service for Moore. The exact cause of his death has not been released.