Johnny Moore

Born: 1934,  Selma, AL

Died: Dec. 31, 1998

Joined The Drifters in 1954, a year after the group was formed, "Steamboat" was one of their 1950s hits. In 1961, after a stint of military service, Moore was invited to rejoin The Drifters. At the time, Rudy Lewis was lead singer, and Moore sang with him on "Sweets for the Sweet," "Up on the Roof" and "On Broadway." In 1964, Moore became lead singer with his high tenor voice, making "Under the Boardwalk" a Top Ten hit. In the 1970s, Moore took The Drifters to Britain, where they found new popularity. Among their hits from 1973 to 1976 were "Kissing in the Back Row of the Movies," "Down on the Beach Tonight" and "You're More Than a Number in My Little Red Book."

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

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The Drifters are shown in London in 1977: (from left) Joe Blunt, Johnny Moore, Clyde Brown and Billy Lewis.
Credit: Associated Press 1977


Johnny Moore (December 14, 1934 – December 30, 1998)[1] was an American rhythm and blues singer with The Drifters.

Born John Darrel Moore in Selma, Alabama,[1] Moore began as lead of the Cleveland based group, The Hornets, before being discovered by The Drifters. He joined the group as lead vocalist, in New York in 1955, at age 21. He was drafted and forced to leave the group; upon returning, he recorded as a soloist under the name "Johnny Darrow". He rejoined the Drifters, now with four new members, and became the lead singer in 1964 when current lead Rudy Lewis was found dead. The group was due to record "Under the Boardwalk", and Moore took over the lead vocals. Subsequently, he became permanent lead. In 1988, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Moore had a string of hits with the group in the 1960s, most notably "Saturday Night At The Movies", "Come On Over To My Place", "At The Club" and "Up In The Streets Of Harlem". He remained with the group when it moved to the United Kingdom in the 1970s, and remains the group's longest serving member - he was in the group until his death in December 1998. Moore died of respiratory failure.[1]

He was the father of several children including Dawn Raynor of the UK and D'Tonya Dean of North Carolina. He is also survived by his wife Jennifer Moore, and their three sons, the eldest Christian Moore, David Moore, and the youngest John Moore Jr., who all currently live in the UK.

Moore was given a posthumous Pioneer Award in 1999 by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

Source: Johnny Moore (musician) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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