Oscar Moore (left) with Nat King Cole and Wesley Prince, c. June 1946
Photo: William P. Gottlieb
|Birth name||Oscar Frederic Moore|
|Born||December 25, 1916|
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Died||October 8, 1981 (aged 64)|
|Associated acts||Nat King Cole, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers|
The son of a blacksmith, Moore was born in Austin, Texas. The Moore family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he began performing with his older brother Johnny, who played both trombone and guitar. Aftger moving to Los Angeles, he participated in his first recording session for Decca as part of the Jones Boys Sing Band led and arranged by Leon René. The group attracted local attention on radio and two short films for MGM directed by Buster Keaton. Soon after, Moore accompanied pianist Nat King Cole at the Swanee Inn in North La Brea, Hollywood. He spent ten years with Cole in the piano-guitar-bass trio format that influenced Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal.
After he left the King Cole Trio in October 1947, he joined his brother in Johnny Moore's Three Blazers as a member of that group into the early 1950s. Moore formed his own trio in 1952 and was active in Los Angeles. He recorded sessions as a leader and as a sideman throughout the 1950s but left the industry at the end of the decade. He returned to the recording studio in 1965 to record a tribute to Cole and again in the 1970s, briefly backing Helen Humes. Moore died of a heart attack in Clark, Nevada, in 1981.
- Swing Guitars with Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow (Norgran, 1955)
- Presenting Oscar Moore with Leroy Vinnegar (Omegatape 1956)
- Galivantin' Guitar (Tampa, 1956)
- In Guitar (Charlie Parker, 1962)
- We'll Remember You, Nat (Surrey, 1966)
- Oscar Moore (VSOP/Tampa/Skylark, 1986)
- Charles Brown, Driftin' Blues (Score, 1957)
- Nat King Cole, Hittin' the Ramp: The Early Years (Resonance, 2019)
- Lester Young & Buddy Rich, The Lester Young Buddy Rich Trio (Verve, 1958)
- Rossi, Nick (2019). Hittin' the Ramp: The Early Years (1936–1943) (CD). Los Angeles: Resonance Records.