Reverend Gatemouth Moore (Arnold Dwight Moore)
Born: November 8, 1913, Topeka, Kansas
Died: May 19, 2004
Photo credit: Bill Steber – www.steberphoto.com
Singer and Preacher. Reverend Gatemouth Moore. Though Moore claimed to have been the first to play the part of Buckwheat in “Our Gang” (aka “The Little Rascals”), his more solid claim to fame was his musical career. He began singing in dance bands as a teenager and went on to become the first blues singer to perform at Carnegie Hall. While singing with the Walter Barnes Orchestra, Moore was one of only two band members who managed to survive the Natchez Rhythm Club fire in 1940. Among songs he recorded for National Records in the early 1940s were I Ain’t Mad At You, Pretty Baby, Did You Ever Love A Woman, and Christmas Blues. He later moved to King Records and in the late 1940s made a career change from blues to the ministry, spending the last decades of his career as preacher, gospel singer, and radio personality, including working as a gospel disc jockey at Memphis’s WDIA, where he is said to have influenced the up-and-coming B.B. King. Moore’s last performance was in “Road to Memphis,” a 2003 film for which he wrote and sang Beale St. Ain’t Beale Street No More.