IA Hall of Fame Taps
Ex-Keokuk, Iowa Musician

By Steve Dunn/Gate City Managing Editor. Wednesday, January 25, 2006
           A former Keokuk area musician who is already in two music Halls of Fame will be inducted into the Iowa Rock n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in Arnolds Park during a two-day celebration Sept. 2-3.
           Red Moore and his band, "Red Moore and the Rhythm Drifters," played throughout the Keokuk area and West Central Illinois for 23 years before he moved to Arkansas in 1976.
           "We played country, rockabilly and rock n roll," recalled Moore during a phone interview with the Daily Gate City from his home in Mountainburg, Ark., Tuesday. "In 1959 we made a record ("The Crawdad Song") that was pretty big overseas and got me in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the traditional Country Music Hall of Fame."
           "The Crawdad Song" was No. 1 in Holland, according to Moore. An original 45 rpm version of the song sold for $800 on e-Bay, he said. He still gets e-mails and requests for CDs and autographs.
           "The Crawdad Song" was cut in a studio in Davenport that no longer is in existence, he said. The fact that the record was made in Iowa may have been a factor in his selection to the Iowa Rock n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame, he believes.
           "John Jobe (of Keokuk) was my original drummer and was the drummer on "The Crawdad Song,'" Moore noted. His lead guitar player was the late Bill Hall of Keokuk. Moore served as emcee of the band, sang and played guitar.
           Moore was born in Fort Madison on Sept. 24, 1933, during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. "I remember the first song that got me hooked laying on the floor in the 30s. Listening to Gene Autry sing That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine' and Bob Wills' San Antonio Rose' were my favorites," Moore says on the Rockabilly Hall of Fame Web site. "I liked them all and spent most of my paper route money on a record player and records."
           Throughout the 50s, he played in honky tonks, he said. "I was really in hillbilly heaven when I cut my record, The Crawdad Song,' and got booked on a show with Ernest Tubbs, Skeeter Davis and Buddie Emmons on steel guitar," he said. In the early 60s Moore started the Colt 45 in Keokuk, complete with swinging doors, according to the Web site.
           "Country and rockabilly was getting big and was the most popular music around," he recalled. "We played to overflowing crowds." Moore and his band also played at the Western Club in Gulfport, Ill., for 8-1/2 years.
           "I met my wife and the best friend of 35 years there and we've been together ever since," he said. "The club booked in a country music name every couple of weeks and we got to play and meet most all of the old timers of today and yesterday."
           With the help of Marvin Rainwater, the first country music singer on the Ed Sullivan Show, Moore and his band put together a country music show for Montrose, his residence at the time. "I got two of my old favorites, Lefty Frizzell and Carl Smith, booked and Lefty told me later that I had got him out of retirement and got him started again," Moore said. "Sadly, he cut a couple more records and passed away."
           Indeed, Moore met and/or played with some of the great entertainers of his time, including Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and Don Rich, Ray Price, Kenny Price, Little Jimmy Dickens, Del Reeve, Gene Autry, Portor Wagner, Tex Ritter and dozens of others.
           In fact, Moore recalled eating dinner with Ritter at the Chuck Wagon restaurant in Keokuk. Moore and his band also opened for Ernest Tubbs at the Nauvoo Grape Festival one year, too. "I wish I could have met Hank Williams, Bob Wills and George Jones," Moore reflected.
           Moore said he plans to attend the Iowa Rock n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame ceremony later this year. "It's interesting and unique," he said about Iowa's version of a musical Hall of Fame.
           "We are proudly preparing for our 10th induction. It has been an exciting decade," said IRRMA President Clark Marshall. "The Class of 2006 join an elite group of fine music history makers who put Iowa on the music map."
           Planning has begun for the two-day event on Sept. 2-3 marking the 10th induction, which will inaugurate the year-long celebration of IRRMA's "Diamond Decade of Music."

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