Bob Moore, one of the most prolific bass players in the history of recorded music and a member of Nashville's storied A-team of studio musicians from the '50s and beyond, died on Wednesday (Sept. 22) at age 88.
Moore was born on Nov. 30, 1932 and raised in East Nashville. Before producer Owen Bradley of Decca Records helped positioned him to become country music's best-known bassist, Moore began his career at age 10 as a live performer on regional radio. He joined Paul Howard's Western Swing Band at 15 before becoming a touring bandmate for a who's-who of country (Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Foley, Marty Robbins) and bluegrass (Flatt & Scruggs) acts.
As a member of the Nashville A-team of session musicians, Moore's bass lines guided such genre-shaping songs as Roger Miller's "King of the Road," George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter."
"He was the heartbeat behind classics including Patsy Cline's 'Crazy,' Sammi Smith's 'Help Me Make It Through the Night,' Kenny Rogers' 'The Gambler' and hundreds of other recordings that changed the course of country music," Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young said in a statement. "He played with Johnny Cash, Tom T. Hall, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and so many others, and he helped establish Monument Records, where he was a player, a producer, an arranger and a hit artist."
Beyond Moore's contributions to others' foundational recording sessions, his Bob Moore Orchestra scored its own hit in 1961 with "Mexico."
"[Moore's] contributions to American music are incalculable," Young added. "He was a musical master and the most-recorded bass player in country music history. As a key member of the much-vaunted 'A-Team' of Nashville session players, he was both an inspiration and an innovator. He once said, 'Anyone who has heard me play the bass knows my soul.' We're fortunate that he shared his soul with us for so many years."
Moore joined the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2007.
Two of Moore's four children followed in his musical footsteps. Son R. Stevie Moore is a prolific D.I.Y. singer-songwriter and pioneer of lo-fi music, while daughter Linda Faye Moore was a member in the '80s of the country group Calamity Jane.
No word yet on Moore's cause of death.