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
Years active 1940s–1950s
Past members

Johnny Moore's Three Blazers was a popular African-American vocal group in the 1940s and 1950s.

The original members were:

Career[edit]

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

Johnny Moore remained devoted to rhythm and blues. His guitar style is considered to have been an influence on Chuck Berry. He joined and formed several groups, before forming the Three Blazers with two other Texans, the bassist Eddie Williams and the pianist and 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 under the name "Oscar Moore with the Three Blazers". This upset Johnny Moore, but 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 their greatest success with "Driftin' Blues", sung by Brown. Brown was the group's star attraction, but Moore refused to allow him credit on their records. Moore also refused to sign an exclusive contract with any record company, so that the group's early records appeared on various labels, particularly Philo (which later became Aladdin Records), Exclusive Records, and Modern Record. The group followed up the success of "Driftin' Blues" with several other big R&B hits, including "Sunny Road" (1946), "New Orleans Blues" (1947), and "Merry Christmas Baby" (1947, 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 occasionally played as a guest with Johnny's group. Johnny Moore and the Blazers continued to record for small labels until the early 1960s.

Discography[edit]

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

Atlas releases[edit]

  • 107 "Melancholy Madeline" (vocal by 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[edit]

  • 111 "Baby Don't You Cry" / "Blazer's Boogie" (instrumental),1945
  • 112 "Drifting Blues" / "Groovy",1945

Aladdin releases[edit]

  • 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

Moderrn Music releases[edit]

  • 131 "Travelin' Blues" (also known as "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[edit]

  • 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" (with Ivory Joe Hunter) / "You Taught Me to Love" (with 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 Chriatmas 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 40X "Jilted Blues" / "Any Old Place with Me", 1948
  • 47X "I'm Looking for Love" / "Huggin' Bug", 1948
  • 53X "Walkin' in Circles" / "Lonsome Blues", 1948
  • 56X "Blues at Sunrise" (with Ivory Joe Hunter) (reissue) / "You Taught Me to Love" (with 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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

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

  • 1947 Johnny Moore's 3 Blazers, recorded 1945 (Aladdin A-2), including the following 78-rpm 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)

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

  • 1947 Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, recorded 1945–1946 (Exclusive EX-1002), including the following 78-rpm 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 and CD releases and notable compilations[edit]

  • 1978 Sunny Road, Charles Brown and Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, recorded 1945–1960 (Route 66 KIX-5)
  • 1980 Race Track Blues, Charles Brown and Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, recorded 1945–1956 (Route 66 KIX-17)
  • 1986 Why Johnny Why, Johnny Moore's Blazers, recorded 1949–1956 (Route 66 KIX-33)
  • 1986 Let's Have a Ball, Charles Brown with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, recorded 1945–1961 (Route 66 KIX-34)
  • 1989 This Is One Time, Baby, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, with Charles Brown, recorded 1945–1949 (Jukebox Lil JB-1105)
  • 1989 Sail On Blues, Charles Brown and Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, recorded 1945–1947 (Jukebox Lil JB-1106)
  • 1995 Snuff Dippin' Mama, Charles Brown with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Night Train International 7017)
  • 1995 Walkin' in Circles, Charles Brown with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Night Train International 7024)
  • 1996 The Chronological Charles Brown: 1944–1945, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Classics #894)
  • 1996 Drifting & Dreaming, Charles Brown with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Modern Records material) ((Ace CHD-589)
  • 1998 Los Angeles Blues: Complete RCA Recordings 1949–1950, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Featuring Oscar Moore (Westside WESD-217), two-CD set
  • 1998 The Chronological Charles Brown: 1946, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Classics 971)
  • 2000 The Chronological Charles Brown: 1946–1947, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Classics 1088)
  • 2001 The Chronological Charles Brown: 1947–1948, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Classics 1147)
  • 2003 Charles Brown: The Classic Earliest Recordings, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (JSP 7707), five-CD box set
  • 2005 The Best of Charles Brown: West Coast Blues, with 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, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Rev-Ola CRBAND-13)
  • 2012 The Cool Cool Blues of Charles Brown 1945–1961, with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (Jasmine 3030), two-CD set

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 365. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ Eagle and LeBlanc, p.396
  3. ^ Eagle and LeBlanc, p.312

External links[edit]