Allison Moorer

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Allison Moorer
Moorer in 2018
Moorer in 2018
Background information
Born (1972-06-21) June 21, 1972 (age 51)
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
OriginMonroeville, Alabama, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active1998–present
LabelsMCA Nashville Records
Universal South
Sugar Hill
New Line

Allison Moorer (born June 21, 1972) is an American country singer-songwriter. She signed with MCA Nashville in 1997 and made her debut on the U.S. Billboard Country Chart with the release of her debut single, "A Soft Place to Fall", which she co-wrote with Gwil Owen. The song was featured in Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999. Moorer performed at the Oscars ceremony the same year. She has made ten albums and her songs have been recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Steve Earle, and Hayes Carll.

Early life[edit]

Moorer was born in Mobile, Alabama on June 21, 1972.[1] She was raised in Frankville, Alabama, and later Monroeville, Alabama, after the deaths of her parents. Growing up, Moorer and her sister also lived in Jackson, Alabama at various times.[2] Music was an important part of the Moorer family. Moorer's father was a heavy drinker who abused his wife. In 1985, her mother fled with the two girls to nearby Mobile, but her father soon discovered their whereabouts. In 1986, when Moorer was 14 and her older sister Shelby (now Shelby Lynne) was 17, he shot and killed his wife before taking his own life.[3] Moorer graduated from the University of South Alabama in Mobile in June 1993 and then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, without even collecting her diploma to join her sister, singer/songwriter Shelby Lynne, who lived there and had already released three albums. Moorer began singing backgrounds in Lynne's band full time and toured extensively with her.


In June 1996, Moorer took part in a tribute to her songwriter friend, the late Walter Hyatt, singing his "Tell Me Baby" at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Nashville agent Bobby Cudd was in attendance and subsequently introduced her to renowned producer and MCA Nashville president Tony Brown. After a few meetings, Brown asked her to cut some demos for the label. Two tracks—"Pardon Me" and "Call My Name"— from that session were included on her first MCA album, Alabama Song.

When Brown moved from MCA Records to sister label Universal South, Moorer followed. Her 2002 album, Miss Fortune, earned more raves, but didn't meet sales expectations. It contained the ballad "Tumbling Down," which was featured on the soundtrack of the popular 2002 film The Rookie.

Her live album Show was recorded in one night at 12th and Porter in Nashville.[4] It features the first recorded collaboration between Moorer and Lynne. After releasing Show and a DVD on Universal South, Moorer moved to independent label Sugar Hill Records. With a slightly rougher edge than past efforts, The Duel was released in April 2004. Moorer's first husband, Doyle Lee Primm, was featured as a songwriter on her first four albums. They divorced in 2005. After serving as his opening act on a European tour, Moorer married fellow singer/songwriter Steve Earle. Earle produced her 2006 album, Getting Somewhere. Moorer wrote all the songs, with the exception of one co-written with Earle. They were both nominated for the Best Country Collaboration with Vocals Grammy, for the song "Days Aren't Long Enough" from Earle's Washington Square Serenade in 2008. The song was also nominated for an Americana Music Association award. Moorer gave birth to the couple's first child, John Henry Earle, on April 5, 2010,[5] but they separated in 2012 and divorced in 2015.[6]

Moorer released the Buddy Miller-produced Mockingbird in February 2008;[4] an album mainly of covers of songs by female singer/songwriters including her sister, Shelby Lynne.

Moorer performing in 2009

In 2009, Moorer performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[5] She appeared in the off-Broadway Rebel Voices, a dramatization of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States in late 2007. Also, in 2009, she appeared on the BBC series Transatlantic Sessions, Series 4, Episodes 4 and 5, performing a version of the Irish folk song, "Carrickfergus". She toured with the Jerry Douglas and Ally Bain led Transatlantic Sessions band in early 2011.

In 2015, Moorer released her ninth album, Down to Believing, which marked a return to collaborating with Kenny Greenberg.

In August 2017, Moorer released her tenth album, Not Dark Yet, in collaboration with her sister. Produced by British folk singer Teddy Thompson, it featured covers of songs by Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Nirvana and The Killers as well as one original song written by Moorer and Lynne, "Is It Too Much." During an extended interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the duo revealed that they were planning a second collaborative album which would instead feature all original material and that they were to begin writing together for the new project in 2018.

Moorer co-produced the 2019 Hayes Carll record What It Is.[7] She and Carll were married on May 12, 2019.[8] Moorer's album Blood was to be released October 25, 2019; her book, Blood: A Memoir, was scheduled for publication on October 29, 2019, on Da Capo Press.[9]

In May 2024, Moorer announced that she had taken a job as a writer-editor at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.[10]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country



Alabama Song 68
The Hardest Part
  • Release date: September 26, 2000
  • Label: MCA Nashville
26 26
Miss Fortune 35 34
The Duel 55 41
Getting Somewhere
  • Release date: June 13, 2006
  • Label: Sugar Hill Records
Mockingbird 18 44
  • Release date: February 9, 2010
  • Label: Rykodisc
18 11
Down to Believing 26 8 36 15
Not Dark Yet (with Shelby Lynne) 39 8
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
  • Release date: June 24, 2003
  • Label: Universal South

Extended Plays[edit]

Title Album details
Crows Acoustic
  • Release date: May 25, 2010
  • Label: Rykodisc
Five Holiday Favorites
  • Release date: December 4, 2021[15]
  • Label: Autotelic / Thirty Tigers
Wish For You
  • Release date: February 11, 2022[16]
  • Label: Autotelic / Thirty Tigers

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Album details
The Definitive Collection
  • Release date: June 7, 2005
  • Label: MCA Nashville
The Ultimate Collection


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
1998 "A Soft Place to Fall" 73 Alabama Song
"Set You Free" 72
"Alabama Song"A
1999 "Pardon Me"[18]
2000 "Send Down an Angel" 66 The Hardest Part
2001 "Think It Over" 57
2002 "Cold In California" Miss Fortune
"Up This High"
"Tumbling Down"
2003 "Going Down" (with Shelby Lynne) Show
2004 "All Aboard" The Duel
2006 "Fairweather" Getting Somewhere
2007 "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" Mockingbird
2008 "Dancing Barefoot"
2009 "The Broken Girl" Crows
2010 "Just Another Fool"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A "Alabama Song" reached number 73 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Album
2002 "Picture"A Kid Rock 21 4 17 2
2008 "Days Aren't Long Enough" Steve Earle Washington Square Serenade
2019 "Ol' 55" with Shelby Lynne Come On Up to the House: Women Sing Waits
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A Song was credited on the charts to Kid Rock with Sheryl Crow or Allison Moorer.

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1998 "A Soft Place to Fall" Robert Redford
"Set You Free" Thom Oliphant
"Alabama Song" Morgan Lawley
2000 "Send Down an Angel" Trey Fanjoy
2002 "Tumbling Down" Adolfo Doring
2004 "Going Down" Stephen Shepherd
2006 "Fairweather" Nicholas Poe
2015 "Like It Used to Be"[19] Coleman Saunders
"Tear Me Apart"[20]



Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
1998 Academy of Country Music Awards Top New Female Vocalist Herself Nominated
1999 Academy Awards Best Original Song "A Soft Place To Fall" Nominated
2004 Americana Music Honors & Awards Artist of the Year Herself Nominated
2008 Grammy Awards Best Country Collaboration with Vocals "Days Aren't Long Enough" with Steve Earle Nominated


  1. ^ "Biography". Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Moorer, Allison (2019). Blood: A Memoir. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-92268-8.
  3. ^ "Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer: Musical Sisters". NPR. December 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "Allison Moorer – Show". No Depression. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  5. ^ "Steve Earle: Hardcore Troubador Page 3". June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  6. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (June 14, 2017). "Steve Earle: 'My wife left me for a younger, skinnier, less talented singer'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  7. ^ Gage, Jeff (February 26, 2019). "Hayes Carll on Harnessing Humor, Dance-Hall Vibe of New Album 'What It Is'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  8. ^ "Hayes Carll and Allison Moorer Get Married". The Country Daily. May 14, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  9. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (August 19, 2019). "Allison Moorer Previews New Album and Memoir With Visceral Song 'The Rock and the Hill'". Rolling Stone.
  10. ^ Willman, Chris (May 10, 2024). "Allison Moorer on Setting Performing Aside to Take a Job With the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: 'It's a Way to Give Back to What Saved Me'". Variety. Retrieved May 11, 2024.
  11. ^ "Allison Moorer Album & Song Chart History – Country Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "Allison Moorer Album & Song Chart History – Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  13. ^ "Allison Moorer Album & Song Chart History – Independent Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  14. ^ "Allison Moorer Album & Song Chart History – Folk Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "Five Holiday Favorites, by Allison Moorer".
  16. ^ "Allison Moorer Makes Music with Her Son on 'Wish for You'". February 11, 2022.
  17. ^ "Allison Moorer Album & Song Chart History – Country Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  18. ^ "Going for Adds – February 22, 1999" (PDF). Radio & Records. February 19, 1999.
  19. ^ "CMT : Videos : Allison Moorer : Like It Used to Be". Country Music Television. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  20. ^ "CMT : Videos : Allison Moorer : Tear Me Apart". Country Music Television. Retrieved April 23, 2015.

External links[edit]