Johnny Moore's Three Blazers

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For the unrelated singer with The Drifters, see Johnny Moore (musician).

Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers were a successful and influential African-American vocal and instrumental group in the 1940s and 1950s.

The original members were :-

Johnny Moore (John Dudley Moore, October 20, 1906 in Austin, Texas – January 6, 1969 in Los Angeles, California)
Charles Brown (September 13, 1920 in Texas City, Texas – January 21, 1999 in Oakland, California)
Eddie Williams (June 12, 1912 in San Augustine, Texas – February 18, 1995 in Los Angeles)

Career[edit]

Johnny Moore (who was not related to the singer named John Alfred Moore with The Drifters) and his younger brother Oscar grew up in Texas and then Phoenix, Arizona, where they both started playing guitar and formed their own string band. In the mid 1930s they relocated to Los Angeles, where Oscar Moore, who had become influenced by Charlie Christian and turned to jazz, joined the King Cole Trio.

Johnny Moore remained devoted to rhythm and blues, his guitar style being considered to be an influence on Chuck Berry. He joined and formed several groups, before forming The Three Blazers with two fellow Texans, bassist Eddie Williams and pianist/singer Charles Brown, who was newly arrived in the city. After the King Cole Trio moved from Atlas Records to Capitol in 1943, Oscar Moore suggested to Atlas boss Robert Scherman that he replace them with his brother's group. Scherman agreed to record The Blazers if Oscar Moore would play with them, and the recordings were released as by 'Oscar Moore with The Three Blazers'. Although this upset Johnny Moore, it brought the group some exposure, and in 1945 they had their first hit, backing Ivory Joe Hunter on "Blues At Sunrise".

In 1946, they had greatest success with "Driftin' Blues", sung by Charles Brown. Although Brown was the group's star attraction, Johnny Moore refused to allow him his own credit on the records. He also refused to sign an exclusive contract with any label, so that the group’s early records appeared on various labels, particularly Philo/Aladdin, Exclusive, and Modern. The group followed up the success of “Driftin' Blues” with a number of other big R&B hits, including “Sunny Road” (1946), “New Orleans Blues” (1947), and “Merry Christmas Baby” (1947, and also a hit in 1948 and 1949).

In 1948, frustrated by his lack of recognition and financial reward, Brown left the group for a successful solo career. The remaining two Blazers continued with a succession of vocalists, notably Lee Barnes, Billy Valentine, Floyd Dixon, Mari Jones, Nelson Alexander, and in the mid-1950s, Frankie Ervin. After Nat King Cole broke up his original King Cole Trio, Oscar Moore played occasionally as a guest musician with Johnny's group. Johnny Moore and his Blazers continued to record for small labels until the early 1960s.

Discography[edit]

Original 10" shellac (78rpm) and 7" vinyl (45rpm) releases[edit]

  • ATLAS releases:
  • 107 Melancholy Madeline (vocal by Frankie Laine...yes, that Frankie Laine!) / Fugue In 'C' Major (instrumental) -1945
  • 110 Tell Me You'll Wait For Me (vocal by Charles Brown) / Escapade (instrumental) -1945
  • 124 Maureen (vocal by Frankie Laine) / Knightfall - Dedicated To Guy Knight (instrumental) -1946
  • PHILO releases:
  • 111 Baby Don't You Cry / Blazer's Boogie (instrumental) -1945
  • 112 DRIFTING BLUES / Groovy -1945
  • ALADDIN releases:
  • 129 You Are My First Love / Race Track Blues -1946
  • 130 Till The Real Thing Comes Along / Rocks In My Bed -1946
  • 183 Drifting Blues [reissue] / Till The Real Thing Comes Along [reissue] -1947
  • 184 Baby Don't You Cry [reissue] / You Are My First Love [reissue] -1947
  • MODERN MUSIC releases:
  • 131 Travelin' Blues (AKA "Drifting Blues, Part 2") / It's The Talk Of The Town -1946
  • 133 What Do You Know About Love / Society Boogie (B-side by Hadda Brooks) -1946
  • 134 Warsaw Concerto (Part 1) (instrumental) / Warsaw Concerto (Part 2) (instrumental) -1946
  • 135 I'll Get Along Somehow / Morocco Blues (B-side by Hadda Brooks) -1946
  • 139 How Deep Is The Ocean / You Showed Me The Way -1946
  • 142 You Won't Let Me Go / Shuffle Boogie (B-side by Will Rowland & His Orchestra) -1946
  • 143 You Left Me Forsaken / SO LONG -1946
  • 151 Sail On Blues / Blue Because Of You -1947
  • 152 Make Believe Land / Nursery Rhyme Boogie (B-side by Happy Johnson & His Jive Five) -1947
  • 154 If You Ever Should Leave / It Had To Be You -1948
  • EXCLUSIVE releases:
  • 204 Axis Doom Blues (vocal by Johnnie McNeil) / You Taught Me To Love -1946
  • 205 You Taught Me To Love / Johnny's Boogie (instrumental) -1946
  • 205 End O' War Blues (vocal by Johnnie McNeil) / Johnny's Boogie [re-release] -1946
  • 209 Blues At Sunrise (w/Ivory Joe Hunter) / You Taught Me To Love (w/Ivory Joe Hunter) -1946
  • 214 C.O.D. / There Is No Greater Love -1946
  • 221 It Ain't Gonna Be Like That / With My Heart In My Hand -1946
  • 224 My Silent Love / Googie's Boogie (instrumental) -1946
  • 226 I Want You, I Need You / Hard Tack (instrumental) -1946
  • 233 Be Fair With Me / SUNNY ROAD -1946
  • 234 Bobby Sox Blues / (Was I To Blame For) Falling In Love With You -1946
  • 240 NEW ORLEANS BLUES / I Surrender Dear -1947
  • 243 Better Watch What You Do / I Love To Make Love To You -1947
  • 246 I Cried For You / Pasadena -1947
  • 249 Moonrise / Juke Box Lil -1947
  • 251 CHANGEABLE WOMAN BLUES / Why Is Love Like That -1947
  • 254 MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY / Lost In The Night -1947
  • 257 Money's Getting Cheaper / It's Over -1948
  • 259 Soothe Me / Scratch Sheet (instrumental) -1948
  • 261 Teresa / Cold In Here -1948
  • 265 GROOVY MOVIE BLUES / Free Lancin' Again -1948
  • 268 I'm So Happy I Could Cry / Don't Get Salty, Sugar -1948
  • 272 You Better Change Your Way Of Lovin' / Friendless Blues -1948
  • MODERN releases:
  • 20-599 MORE THAN YOU KNOW / Variety Bounce (B-side by Hadda Brooks) -1948
  • 20-646 Drifting Blues, Part 2 [reissue] / Going Home Blues (B-side by Hootie McShann Trio) -1949
  • 20-689 WHEN YOUR LOVER HAS GONE / I'll Never Know Why (B-side by Hadda Brooks) -1949
  • 20-731 I'll Get Along Somehow [reissue] / What Do You Know About Love [reissue] -1950
  • 20-768 Nutmeg (instrumental) / What Do You Know About Love [reissue] -1950
  • EXCLUSIVE releases:
  • 40X JILTED BLUES / Any Old Place With Me -1948
  • 47X I'm Looking For Love / Huggin' Bug -1948
  • 53X Walkin' In Circles / LONESOME BLUES -1948
  • 56X Blues At Sunrise (w/Ivory Joe Hunter) [reissue] / You Taught Me To Love (w/Ivory Joe Hunter) [reissue] -1948
  • 63X MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY [reissue] / Lost In The Night [reissue] -1948
  • 69X WHERE CAN I FIND MY BABY / Snuff Dippin' Mama -1949
  • 86X Love Me Tonight / Peek-A-Boo -1949
  • 101X Tomorrow / Tonight I'm Alone -1949
  • 107X Groovy Movie Blues [reissue] / New Orleans Blues [reissue] -1949
  • 111X B. & O. Blues / I Hate Myself -1949
  • 120X I'LL MISS YOU / So There -1949
  • 143X If You Don't, Why Don't Ya / If I Had You -1949
  • 150X Twenty-Four Hours A Day / I Certainly Would -1949
  • RCA VICTOR releases:
  • 22-0020 Blues For What I've Never Had / How Could I Know -1949
  • 22-0025/50-0009 A New Shade Of Blues / This Is One Time, Baby (You Ain't Gonna Two-Time Me) -1949
  • 22-0034/50-0018 Bop-A-Bye Baby / What Does It Matter -1949
  • 22-0042/50-0026 WALKIN' BLUES / You Can Go Feed Yourself -1949
  • 22-0047/50-0031 Cut Off The Fat (Take Out The Bone) / Shuffle Shuck -1949
  • 22-0059/50-0043 So Long / Driftin' Blues -1949
  • 22-0073/50-0073 Misery Blues / Rock With It -1950
  • 22-0086/50-0086 Rain-Chick / Melody -1950
  • 22-0095/50-0095 Someday You'll Need Me / The Jumping Jack -1950
  • SWING TIME releases:
  • 238 Merry Christmas Baby [reissue] / Lost In The Night [reissue] -1950
  • 253 I'll Miss You [reissue] / New Orleans Blues [reissue] -1951
  • 259 Sunny Road [reissue] / Be Fair With Me [reissue] -1951
  • 276 Changeable Woman Blues [reissue] / Moonrise [reissue] -1952

Original 10" shellac (78rpm) 2-disc album set[edit]

  • 1947 Johnny Moore's 3 Blazers (a self titled release) [rec. 1945] (Aladdin #A-2)

includes the following 78rpm discs...

  • 183 DRIFTING BLUES [side 1] / TILL THE REAL THING COMES ALONG [side 2]
  • 184 YOU ARE MY FIRST LOVE [side 3] / BABY DON'T YOU CRY [side 4]

Original 10" shellac (78rpm) 3-disc album set[edit]

  • 1947 Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (another self titled release) [rec. 1945-46] (Exclusive #EX-1002)

includes the following 78rpm discs...

  • 703 ST. LOUIS BLUES [side 1] / GLORIA [side 6]
  • 704 I WOULDN'T MIND [side 2] / WAY OVER THERE BY THE CHERRY TREE [side 5]
  • 705 BE SHARP, YOU'LL SEE (instrumental) [side 3] / NOW THAT YOU'RE GONE AWAY [side 4]

LP/CD releases/compilations of note[edit]

  • 1978 Charles Brown & Johnny Moore's Three Blazers - Sunny Road [rec. 1945-60] (Route 66 #KIX-5)
  • 1980 Charles Brown & Johnny Moore's Three Blazers - Race Track Blues [rec. 1945-56] (Route 66 #KIX-17)
  • 1986 Johnny Moore's Blazers - Why Johnny Why [rec. 1949-56] (Route 66 #KIX-33)
  • 1986 Charles Brown (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) - Let's Have A Ball [rec. 1945-61] (Route 66 #KIX-34)
  • 1989 Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (w/Charles Brown) - This Is One Time, Baby [rec. 1945-49] (Jukebox Lil #JB-1105)
  • 1989 Charles Brown & Johnny Moore's Three Blazers - Sail On Blues [rec. 1945-47] (Jukebox Lil #JB-1106)
  • 1995 Snuff Dippin' Mama (Charles Brown w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Night Train International #7017)
  • 1995 Walkin' In Circles (Charles Brown w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Night Train International #7024)
  • 1996 The Chronological Charles Brown 1944-1945 (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Classics #894)
  • 1996 Drifting & Dreaming [all Modern Records material] (Charles Brown w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Ace #CHD-589)
  • 1998 Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Featuring Oscar Moore - Los Angeles Blues: Complete RCA Recordings 1949-1950 (Westside #WESD-217) 2-CD set
  • 1998 The Chronological Charles Brown 1946 (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Classics #971)
  • 2000 The Chronological Charles Brown 1946-1947 (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Classics #1088)
  • 2001 The Chronological Charles Brown 1947-1948 (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Classics #1147)
  • 2003 Charles Brown: The Classic Earliest Recordings (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (JSP #7707) 5-CD box set
  • 2005 The Best Of Charles Brown: West Coast Blues (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Blues Forever #6828)
  • 2007 Johnny Moore's Three Blazers - Be Cool: The Modern & Dolphin Sessions 1952-1954 (Ace #CHD-1148)
  • 2007 Groovy (Charles Brown w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Rev-Ola #CRBAND-13)
  • 2012 The Cool Cool Blues Of Charles Brown 1945-1961 (w/Johnny Moore's Three Blazers) (Jasmine #3030) 2-CD set

External links[edit]