Inductee Biography for SAM MOORE
Sam Moore is a distinguished American Southern soul and rhythm and blues artist. Born Samuel David Moore in Miami, Florida in 1935, he is one of the great voices of the soul music era. He began his career singing gospel tunes and playing the Florida R&B circuit. While playing at a Miami club called The King of Hearts in 1961, he met another struggling singer by the name of Dave Prater.
As Sam & Dave, they found musical compatibility performing as a duet act and began recording for Roulette Records. Their early releases were not successful until 1965 when Jerry Wexler signed them to Atlantic Records. He sent them to work with Stax producer and soul legend Isaac Hayes in Memphis and they soon hit pay dirt with a string of hits including “Soul Man,” “Hold On, I’m Coming,” and “I Thank You.” In the studio they were backed by Booker T. & the MGs. These were great times for Sam & Dave, who were dynamite on stage together, but did not get along so well offstage and they split up in 1970.
Sam intended to launch a solo career in 1971 with an album produced by legendary arranger and saxman King Curtis. Unfortunately, Curtis was murdered a short time before it was completed and it was not released for more than thirty years. “Plenty Good Lovin’: The Lost Solo Album ” was finally released in 2002.
Throughout the years they sometimes reunited to perform as Sam & Dave, including in late 1978 after the Blues Brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, backed by an all-star band featuring most of the MGs), covered the song “Soul Man” in their original hit movie. They also performed on tour through 1981. The relationship was always a strained one, ending when Dave Prater died in a 1988 car accident. Sam also appeared in the film sequel Blues Brothers 2000 in the role of a preacher, delivering a powerful rendition of the classic “John The Revelator.”
In 1992 Sam & Dave were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. In 1994 Sam scored a Top Ten pop and country crossover hit with a version of “Rainy Night In Georgia, a collaboration with the late country singer Conway Twitty. He also recorded an album in 2005, Overnight Sensation, which was produced by Randy Jackson.
For the past several years, Sam and his wife, Joyce, have lived in the Phoenix area and he now bases his worldwide tours from Arizona. With her help and love, Sam overcame drug and alcohol addiction and even wrote a book discussing his problems. He then became a strong anti-drug abuse advocate, volunteering with many substance abuse prevention programs. Rolling Stone magazine has named him as one of the 100 greatest singers of the rock era, and music writer and critic Dave Marsh has said, “Sam Moore is the greatest living soul singer.”