Country music fans can, if they want, glibly classify this fellow as part of the so-called "Grady Bunch," that is, brilliant country pickers of some sort whose first name happen to be Grady. Other bowls of "Grady" might be, from the discographical point of view, deeper and thicker, but Grady Moore is through reputation and direct influence one of the most essential bowls of Nashville country guitar stew. It is hard to imagine most country guitar styles existing without him and even harder to find a player whose link to traditional old-time music goes back as far. The ancestry of country guitar playing is of course that of the tried and true accompanist strumming away in back of fiddlers, and it was in this capacity that Moore first recorded in 1927. It is all the more important he happened to be backing Fiddling Sid Harkreader, as this is a legendary old-time fiddler and early recording artist whose every mastered side has nearly become a sanctified object, basking in a glow of respect from devout country fans. The Harkreader and Moore version of "Old Joe" has furthermore been studied as a link, via the equally important early fiddler Dr. Humphrey Bate, to the black fiddle music of the early '20s and before. "The Bully of the Town," however, is the duo's most brilliant recording, and this tremendously moving recording was part of the fantastic Paramount Old Time Tunes collection put together by the John Edwards Memorial Foundation. The duo of Harkreader and Moore worked together for about a year, the high point of which was the fiddler's invite to come to Chicago to record for Paramount, the young guitarist's first trip to the big city. At the time he hooked up with the fiddler, Moore already had his own radio show in Nashville, mixing up his Appalachian roots with his finesse at Hawaiian guitar. This combination -- country picking and Hawaiian sliding -- is the basic grits and gravy of the country guitar experience, once the two streams flowed together, that is. Moore settled down in Nashville, but not of his own choosing. The next time Harkreader wanted to go cut in Chicago, the guitarist was under doctor's orders not to travel. Moore, restricted from touring as a performer, now began to pass his experience and enthusiasm along to younger pickers. He became one of the town's most prosperous music teachers, his students included Hubert Gregory, a member of the Fruit Jar Drinkers who played on the Opry for years and early pedal steel guitarist Leroy "Little Roy" Wiggins, who also became an Opry house bandmember. Moore has also been involved as a guitar builder and manufacturer, including some late-'60s attempts to make an American version of the Rickenbacker guitar.
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