Clinch Mountain Echo

Charlie Moore - Wheeling

(Old Homestead OHS-90075) 1976

Charlie Moore - Wheeling
Rear Cover Side One Side Two

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Charlie Moore had a fabulous voice, and was able to deliver songs with a depth of feeling that put him up there with the bluegrass greats, but it seems he was also his own worst enemy...

On this album former CMB, Chubby Anthony provides fiddle and some baritone vocal. Moore and Chubby had first met in 1956, when Chubby was working for Cousin Wilbur's band,[1] and a decade or so later (like many CMBs) he spent some time playing for Moore & Napier.[2] Despite knowing each other for 20 years, this looks like it was the only time they recorded together, except for one track on the Charlie Moore & Bill Napier - Collectors Edition LP.

Another former CMB, Al Elliott may also be featured, as he's mentioned in Kathy Kaplan's liner notes, although not on the LP's musician credits.

The excellent title cut Wheeling, and Seasons were new compositions by Charlie. Another original Same Ole Place Tonight, had been recorded the previous year by Bob Smallwood on his 'Rebel Soldier, Your Memory Will Never Die' LP (Old Homestead OHS-90030) 1975. The remainder of the album consists of reworkings of older material or covers.

Georgia Bound and Goodbye And So Long To You are re-recordings of the old Moore & Napier songs, originally from their 'Folk 'n Hill' (King 828) 1963 and 'The Best Of Moore And Napier' (King 880) 1964 LP's. Similiarly, Lorena Go Home is a re-recording of a number Charlie had cut on his 'Charlie Bluegrass' (Country Jubilee CJ-70617) 1970 LP.

The acerbic Best Female Actress looks like it was written by Benny Caudill, and then recorded by Red Smiley, who suggested the song to Charlie... somehow the song got credited to Charlie Moore / Red Smiley. Other tracks:- Julie, Tombstone Every Mile (the obligatory truck driving song), and Kris Kristofferson's Come Sundown are borrowed from the Country & Western genre; while The Sweetest Gift - A Mother's Smile is an old nugget from the repertoire of The Bailey Brothers and Blue Sky Boys.

The album was recorded at Fountain Inn, Sc. by Music Lab Studios on the 26th and 28th July 1976, and reissued on CD (Old Homestead OHCD-90075) in 1999.

Charlie Moore seems to have been quite heavily influenced by The Stanley Brothers. Several CMB's played with Moore & Napier and on Charlie's solo material. In 1973, he also claimed to have booked "some of the first shows that Carter and Ralph Stanley ever played in South Carolina".[1]

Butch Robbins who worked for Charlie c1971/72, in a refreshingly honest autobiography 'What i Know 'Bout What I Know',[4] has plenty to say about Charlie and his relationship with The Stanleys, for instance:-

"Charlie was somewhat enthralled by The Stanley Brothers. It seemed he and Bill Napier had considered themselves competition for The Stanley Brothers at some point in their career. Both recorded (and sold well) for King Records and vied for corporate sponsorship (Jim Walter Homes). Some side musicians (Ralph Mayo, Jim Williams etc) gravitated back and forth from band to band and carried gossip from one to the other."

"We worked festivals on the same bill with Ralph Stanley, when Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley were travelling with him Charlie would entice Keith to come over and hang with us. Charlie wanted to hear the travelling Stanley gossip. Keith liked his intoxicants but Ricky had his mind on business... I think hearing the fanstastic 'going to his grave drinking' tales was at the root of some of Charlie's infatuation with Carter Stanley. Charlie wanted to be just exactly like Carter and he was. He died a drunk and did an excellent job of showing his ass all aling the way to expiration in 1979."[1]

According to other reports Charlie had gotten the demons off his back in the late seventies, but he died 24th Dec 1979, aged just 44. He'd been in hospital for treatment of an old hernia operation, when 'a number of successive failures in other areas put him in a coma for three weeks preceeding his death'.[3]

NB: Charlie plays all instruments on The Sweetest Gift, and shares vocals with his wife Lois Moore.

Side One:

Charlie Moore
Lorena Go Home

Charlie Moore / Henry Dockery
Tombstone Every Mile

Dick Curless
My Baby Just Ain't Here

Charlie Moore
Goodbye And So Long To You

Ray Couture

Charlie Moore
Side Two:
Best Female Actress

Benny Caudill
Come Sundown

Kris Kristoferson
Georgia Bound

Charlie Moore

Same Ole Place Tonight

Billy Constable / Charlie Moore
The Sweetest Gift A Mother's Smile

J.B. Coates

Go To Top Of Page [1] Pete Kuykendall's interview with Charlie Moore in Jan. 1973 issue of 'Bluegrass Unlimited' (p. 5).
[2] There is a live recordng of Moore & Napier from December 1966 at Zebelean's Lounge, Baltimore, Md. which included Chubby Anthony and Henry Dockery, and even recycles one of the Stanley Brothers comedy routines...
[3] Obituary in 'Bluegrass Unlimited' (Feb. 1980) (p.5)
[4] Butch Robins' book 'What I Know 'Bout What I Know' book (p. 7-73)