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Charlie Moore
Born:  February 13, 1935
Died:  December 24, 1979
WWVA Original Jamboree
WNOX Knoxville, TN
WESC Greenville, SC (1952)
WELP Easley, SC (1953)
WHPB Belton, SC (1955)

About The Artist

Charlie Moore, during the 1960's and 1970's, had one of the best lead voices among bluegrass vocalists. From 1962 until 1967, in partnership with instrumental wizard, Bill Napier (1935-2000), and their Dixie Partners, he recorded nine long play albums for the King Label.

After their partnership dissolved, he soon formed a new band and recorded about fifteen more albums for Wango, Vetco, Leather, and especially Old Homestead.

Sadly during his last years, he also fought a long and losing battle with the effects of alcoholism.

A native of Piedmont, South Carolina, Charlie began to play on local radio and TV while still in high school. Shortly afterward, he played for a time with Cousin Wilbur [Wesbrooks] also on TV in the Carolinas. By 1959, he had gone back on his own forming his first version of the Dixie Partners.

Promo Ad - Dixie Harper - Hilarity Club - August 1947 Promo Ad - Dixie Harper - Majestic Theater - October 1947

Promo Ad - Dixie Harper - Hilarity Club - August 1947 Promo Ad - Dixie Harper - Majestic Theater - October 1947

Country Song Roundup told readers that Ansel Gutherie played mandolin and sang tenor lead for the three members of the Dixie Partners in 1959. Curly Ellis played the five string banjo. The magazine told readers the trio had a television show that aired on Saturday nights called "Carolina Promenade Party."

He made his first recordings, a pair of extended play 45's, on Starday. About 1962, he joined forces with former Stanley Brothers sideman Bill Napier, who in addition to the fine work he had already achieved on mandolin and lead guitar, proved himself to be almost equally accomplished on five-string banjo. In fact, since Napier could only play one instrument at a time, critics complained that the whole band did not always measure up.

Over a five year period beginning on December 28, 1962, Moore & Napier and their Dixie Partners cut nine albums for King Records. That first session produced their most successful song, "Truck Driver's Queen." They did their last session with King in October 1966, dissolving their partnership several months later.

Promo Ad - Dixie Harper - Majestic Theater - October 1947 During their time together Charlie and Bill were usually based at TV stations in either the Carolinas or in Florida, particularly in Panama City where they had a virtual monopoly on live entertainment, although Charlie later complained that half of the signal covered the Gulf while the other half was mostly a swamp. For some months, they also had a regular TV program in Pensacola, which they later described as among their most lucrative.

They also spent some time as regulars at the World's Original Jamboree at WWVA in Wheeling. While the band often borrowed session musicians from the Cincinnati bluegrass community (e. g. Paul Mullins and Jim McCall), they did have some quality band members at least part of the time such as Curly Lambert and/or Jimmy Williams on mandolin, and long-time bass man Henry Dockery.

After doing deejay work for a year or so, by early 1969, Charlie Moore had put together a new Dixie Partner band and recorded a new album Charlie Bluegrass for a label called Country Jubilee which included such support musicians as Larry Jefferson (mandolin), Al Osteen (banjo), Charles Hutsen (fiddle), and Sam Cobb/Henry Dockery (bass). This proved to be the first of a decade of heavy recording.

Ten of his long play albums appeared on the Michigan-based Old Homestead label, but there were also two on Vetco, and one each on Wango and Leather (all bluegrass specialty firms). In addition he did a reunion album with Napier on Old Homestead, and in European tours, he did one album in Belgium and another in the Netherlands.

Sidemen with the Dixie Partners for stints of varied length included such figures as newcomers Ben Green, Terry Baucom, and Butch Robbins along with veterans Johnny Dacus, Curly Lambert, Larry Jefferson, Al Elliott, and Henry Dockery.

For a time a girl vocalist-Lois Constable-worked with Moore and the two were briefly married. Charlie worked often at the growing number of bluegrass festivals and also renewed his affiliation with the WWVA's Jamboree USA.

Despite artistic success, Moore was not doing much more than keeping a band going on the road. His health became ever more delicate and his dependency on alcohol continued. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 1979 he played a show at the Mountaineer Opry House in Milton, West Virginia and left for his next show in Baltimore, Maryland. The band admitted him to a hospital and within days he lapsed into a coma and expired after several more days.

Old Homestead had a sufficient number of recordings yet to release that ultimately came out on later albums.

A touching memorial was published in The News Leader of Staunton, Virginia on December 24, 1979 by Charlie's son and daughter, Loyd and Kathy.

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • Starday Stars: Charlie Moore and the Dixie Partners; July 1959; Issue No. 61; Country Song Roundup; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • In Memory Of My Daddy, Charles Moore, at Christmas; December 24, 1979; The News Leader; Staunton, VA

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  5782 A Truck Driver's Queen (w/Bill Napier)
  5782 B In A World Of Broken Hearts (w/Bill Napier)
  5840 A I've Got Over You (w/Bill Napier)
  5840 B Johnny On The Spot (w/Bill Napier)
  5883 A Lonesome Truck Driver (w/Bill Napier)
  5883 B Georgia Bound (w/Bill Napier)
  5926 A Chain Gang (w/Bill Napier)
  5926 B My Dear One (w/Bill Napier)
  5939 A My Home In The Sky (w/Bill Napier)
  5939 B I'd Rather Be Inside (w/Bill Napier)
  5940 A Ballad Of Christopher Columbus (w/Bill Napier)
  5940 B Mousy, Lucy And Bureau (w/Bill Napier)
  5941 A Great Big Cassey (w/Bill Napier)
  5941 B Guitar Pickin' Truck Driver (w/Bill Napier)
  5942 A Way Way Down South (w/Bill Napier)
  5942 B Ain't That Some Pickin' (w/Bill Napier)
  5986 A Goodbye And So Long To You (w/Bill Napier)
  5986 B I'm Just Your Stepping Stone (w/Bill Napier)
  5987 A God Has His Way (w/Bill Napier)
  5987 B Jonah And The Whale (w/Bill Napier)
  5988 A Gathering In The Sky (w/Bill Napier)
  5988 B Our Fathers Had Religion (w/Bill Napier)
  5989 A Big Daddy's Blues (w/Bill Napier)
  5989 B Cincinnati Break Down (w/Bill Napier)
  5990 A Lonesome Guitar (w/Bill Napier)
  5990 B Brundy Hoedown (w/Bill Napier)
Old Homestead Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  5027 A Jealous Heart (w/The Dixie Partners)
  5027 B I've Been To The Lord For You (w/The Dixie Partners)
  5036 A Kentucky Girl (w/The Dixie Partners)
  5036 B I'll Break Out Again Tonight (w/The Dixie Partners)
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  45-966 A Lorena Go Home
  45-966 B Your Letter
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  522 A I'm Leaving Detroit
  522 B Barbara Allen
Wango Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  203 A The Rebel Soldier (w/The Dixie Partners)
  203 B Best Female Actress Of The Year (w/The Dixie Partners)

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