Curly Moore - We Remember
“_____________(insert artists name here) made some of the coolest soul 45s to come out of New Orleans in the 1960’s, yet had little or no success outside of the Crescent City, and remains virtually unknown to most of the listening public.”
I’ve had to use this statement (or something close to it) countless times when writing about my fave New Orleans artists, so much so that it grates on me (and many others I’m sure), because of what it says about the disparity between the high quality of the music coming out of NOLA in the 60’s and the pitiful amount of public recognition given to the people making those records. One such artist is the great Curly Moore. One such record is Curly Moore’s ‘We Remember’. Much like his homeboy Warren Lee’s ‘Star Revue’, the funky ‘We Remember’ is a winning cross section on self-aggrandizing boasts and shout-outs to other soul greats. Curly namechecks James Brown (Outta sight, Try Me, I Feel Good) , Stevie Wonder (Uptight) , Lee Dorsey (Ride Your Pony), Otis Redding (Security) and his own ‘Get Low Down’, and ‘Soul Train’ (his original cut of the tune on Hot Line later covered by Bobby and the Heavyweights on Mo-Soul and Atlantic). The record features some wild drums, great rhythm work on piano and guitar and bright horns. The backing vocals are a little strange, but seem to work in context (much like the insane horn breaks in Eldridge Holmes’ ‘Pop Popcorn Children’, another Allen Toussaint arrangement). Moore, who recorded three 45s for Sansu, one for Hot Line, one for Instant and one for Roxbury (‘Little Sally Walker’), had a high, reedy voice with a New Orleans twang to it. He was one of the more memorable male vocalists to work with Toussaint in the 60’s. Of his Sansu sides, ‘We Remember’ is the funkiest, ‘Get Low Down’ the swampiest, and ‘Don’t Pity Me’ is the one with the most pop potential (and the rarest, bringing several hundred dollars in a recent E-Bay auction, it’s flip side ‘You Don’t Mean It’ being a fave of the Northern Soulies). His Instant 45, ‘Sophisticated Sissy Pts 1&2’ features some great drums and is a welcome addition to the long parade of NOLA Sissy/Cissy records. The record that bears the name of Curly Moore, and has generated a bit of controversy (I’ve discussed it here before) is ‘Shelley’s Rubber Band’ by Curly Moore and the Kool Ones on House of the Fox. The record has long been accepted as an Eddie Bo product/production, and Bo has stated that Moore had nothing to do with the record. Early on I was inclined to go along with this statement, yet over the years, listening to Curly Moore’s records, I find myself leaning to believing that it is in fact Moore singing/shouting the introduction to ‘Shelley’s Rubber Band’. Not having seen any reference to this by Moore himself, the record in question remains a disputed item. I haven’t heard Moore’s Roxbury 45 (from the early 70’s I’m guessing) and I’m not aware of any other records he may have done. I have also seen it mentioned that he passed away, which I cannot confirm. Most of Moore’s Sansu recordings (excluding ‘You Don’t Mean It’ which has been comped elsewhere) are available on the great Sundazed comp, ‘Get Low Down: The Soul Of New Orleans ’65-‘67’, which includes tons of great music. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.