Ironing Board Sam

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Ironing Board Sam
Birth nameSamuel Moore
Born (1939-07-17) July 17, 1939 (age 79)
Rock Hill, South Carolina, United States
GenresElectric blues[1]
Occupation(s)Keyboardist, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsKeyboards, piano
Years activeLate 1950s–present
LabelsOrleans Records, various, Music Maker

Samuel Moore (born July 17, 1939),[2] who performs and records as Ironing Board Sam,[3] is an American electric blues keyboardist, singer and songwriter, who has released a small number of singles and albums.[1] His musical career, despite several low points, has spanned over fifty years, and he released a new album in 2012. "I'll tell you one thing, it's the blues," he stated. "That's why I look like a blues man now."[4]

One commentator, describing Ironing Board Sam's 1996 album, Human Touch, noted that he "has a surprisingly smooth and effective croon and his piano playing, while subdued, is still remarkable."[5]


Moore was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina.[3][6] While concentrating initially on boogie-woogie and gospel music, he learned the electronic organ before graduating to playing the blues in Miami, Florida. After relocating to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1959,[3] he formed a band and got his stage name from his practice of strapping his legless keyboard to an ironing board for performances.[1] He disliked his stage name, but he later turned it to an advantage by giving away ironing boards at some of his concerts.[3] In 1962, he was backed by a band containing the young Jimi Hendrix.

He moved around the United States trying to get a recording contract, eventually issuing a handful of singles for Atlantic, Styletone and Holiday Inn in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[3] He also performed on Night Train in the mid-1960s.[6]

His performing technique was unusual, and he developed an eccentric persona in several directions. He invented a "button keyboard", which had a regular keyboard arrangement underneath which were fitted guitar strings. Rudimentary electronics gave him a three-pronged sound, which he used primarily when billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" while performing as a duo with the drummer Kerry Brown.[7] In 1978, his intention to perform in a hot air balloon was cancelled because of adverse weather.[7] At the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival a year later he played in a 1,500-gallon tank filled with water. By 1982, when he had moved back to New Orleans,[3] he had developed the idea of performing as a "human jukebox", playing only when people inserted coins into his jukebox-styled costume. He worked in the Latin Quarter and got some club work after an appearance on the television program Real People.[3] In the late 1980s he was accompanied by a toy monkey, known as Little George, that was rigged to play in synchronization with a drum machine. His more recent live sets have featured a mix of blues and jazz.

In 1990, Ironing Board Sam toured Europe. His debut album, Human Touch, was released in 1996.[3]

He joined the Music Maker Relief Foundation in 2010 and moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was provided with new musical equipment, recorded a new album and played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April 2012.[6][8]

In late 2012 and 2013, Ironing Board Sam played a series of concerts across North Carolina.[6] He performed at the Steel City Blues Festival in March 2014.[9] He returned to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April 2014.[10]

In 2015, Ironing Board Sam starred in a series of advertisements for Faultless Starch.[11]


Apart from some live recordings, Sam's discography includes the following:[1][4][6]

Year Title Record label Notes
1996 Human Touch Orleans Records
2011 Going Up Music Maker
2012 Ninth Wonder of the World of Music Music Maker Recorded in Gary, Indiana, in the early 1970s
2013 Double Bang Music Maker
2014 Ironing Board Sam and the Sticks[12] Music Maker
2015 Super Spirit[13] Music Maker

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ironing Board Sam: Overview". Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  2. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 290. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ironing Board Sam". Bluessearchengine. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  4. ^ a b "Rare LP from Bluesman Ironing Board Sam". June 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas . "Ironing Board Sam, Human Touch: Overview". Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Ironing Board Sam". Music Maker Relief Foundation. 1996. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  7. ^ a b "40 Years with the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Human Jukebox, Little George and a 1,500-Gallon Tank Filled with Water". 1996. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  8. ^ "2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  9. ^ "Steel City Blues Festival 2014". Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  10. ^ Supernova, Brigette. "Living Legend Ironing Board Sam Ready to Blaze Jazz Fest Stage". Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Ironing Board Sam". Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  12. ^ DeKoster, Jim (December 2014). "Reviews Dec 2014: Ironing Board Sam and the Sticks, Music Maker - MMCD164". Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Ironing Board Sam - Super Spirit (CD, Album)". Retrieved 2017-05-27.

External links[edit]