Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: Dorothy Moore


Dorothy Moore Photo courtesy of Dorothy Moore

Major Works

Albums

  •  Misty Blue (1976)
  • Dorothy Moore (1977)
  • Once More With Feeling (1978)
  • Definitely Dorothy (1979)
  • Straight To You (1986)
  • Time Out For Me (1988)
  • Winner (1989)
  • Feel The Love (1990)
  • Stay Close To Home (1992)
  • Misty Blue and Other Great Hits (1997)
  • More Moore (1997)

SongsDorothy Moore, Photo by Greg Jensen, Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 1998.

  • "Misty Blue"
  • "Funny How Time Slips Away"
  • "Let The Music Play"
  • "I Believe You"
  • "With Pen In Hand"
  • "For Old Time’s Sake"
  • "Love Me"
  • "Special Occasion"
  • "Girl Overboard"
  • "All Night Blue"
  • "He Thinks I Still Care"
  • "Too Blind To See"

Blues In the Night audio file (complete song)
Blues in the Night real audio (intro only)

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Dorothy Moore: A Biography
By Shanita Bishop (SHS)

From her hit single "Misty Blue" to her latest single "Lie To Me," Dorothy Moore has warmed the hearts of millions with her songs. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Dorothy was born on October 13, 1947, to JB and Mary Mance. Dorothy was raised by her great grandmother. Moore recalls, " I was a quiet, obedient child. I got my fair share of spankings which I do not regret" (Moore 10).

Dorothy’s singing talent was detected at an early age. At age three, Dorothy’s mother discovered she had a vibrato in her voice, and from then on her mother bought her musical instruments and took her to gospel programs (Moore 10). Dorothy began singing with The New Stranger Home Baptist Church Choir at age five, and eventually she became a soloist. She later sang at the Alamo Theater talent shows, where she constantly won first place (Myers 6). Dorothy attended Smith Robinson Elementary School, Mary C. Jones Elementary, and Lanier High School (all Jackson public schools), and later graduated from Jackson State University (Allen 2).Photo courtesy of Dorothy Moore While at Lanier High School, Dorothy won numerous talent shows. She met her former husband Russell while a student at Lanier. When asked what kind of student she was in school, Moore replied, "I was an average student" (Moore 10).

After graduation from Lanier High School in 1965, Moore was discovered by a recording company producer in Jackson (Hood 11).  In 1966, Moore signed with Epic Records (Allen 2). While attending Jackson State, Moore and two other students formed a female group called  the Poppies. The Poppies worked with The Four Tops, Bobby Goldsboro, and Wilson Pickett. They recorded the hit singles "Lullaby of Love" and "He’s Ready" for Columbia Records in 1966 (Allen 2). After performing with the Poppies, Moore established a solo career with Malaco Records in 1976 (Larkin 2902). While at Malaco Records, Dorothy recorded the Grammy-nominated single, "Misty Blue." Two years after "Misty Blue," Dorothy recorded a second Grammy-nominated single, "I Believe You." In 1978, Dorothy took a brief  break  from the limelight to be with her family, but she returned to performing publicly in 1982 (Myers 6).

In 1989 Dorothy Moore traveled to Japan for a seven-day tour.  She took with her three other Mississippi musicians:  Charlie "Love" Jacobs (who was also from Jackson and who worked with The Tangents) on sax and harmonica,  Jimmy Jarratt of Madison on keyboard, and Dan Harrison of Yazoo City on bass.  Two Texans, Milton Harris (lead guitarist) and Johnny Munguis (drummer) also went with them.

Most of Dorothy’s recordings have been written by country and western writers (Allen 2). Moore herself prefers ballads--country and western (Polson 7).  Her hit single "Misty Blue" was written by a country and western writer, Bob Montgomery (Allen 2). Moore  has  appeared on the shows "Prime Time Country," "Nashville Now," and "Ralph Emery" as well as others.   In between the country and western and rhythm and blues recording sessions, Dorothy has also recorded numerous gospel tracks.

Dorothy has earned  awards and recognition, including four Grammy nominations, an  Image Award, NATRA Female R&B Vocalist of the Year, Billboard Magazine Award, Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and many other awards worldwide. Her well-known single "Misty Blue" is  used on the movie Phenomenon soundtrack. Throughout her career, Dorothy has appeared with such stars as Lou Rawls, Al Green, B.B. King, The Temptations, and others (Allen 2). She has also appeared on such shows as "American Bandstand," "Rock Concert," "Soul Train," and "The Midnight Special" (malaco.com/blues). She  has recorded with several different recording labels,  including Volt, Rejoice, GSF, and Chimneyville. Although she has signed with various recording labels,  Moore now records solely for Malaco Records, "the place where it all began" (Allen 2).

Despite the tours and the traveling to countries such as Japan and England, Dorothy still finds the time to be with her children. She has a son and a daughter who have both graduated from college. She also finds the time to fish, her favorite hobby.   Moore has a successful international musical career, but she still resides in her native city of Jackson, Mississippi, where she attends The Jackson Revival Center regularly. She currently has a series of performances lined up this summer in Jamaica, California (at the the Blues and Jazz Festival), and Oregon, plus she  has just released a new single "Lie To Me" (Moore 12). 

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E-mail Interview with Dorothy Moore
By Shanita Bishop (SHS)

What are your parents’ names? Shanita Bishop, SHS interviewer and biographer

JB and Mary Mance

Who are your favorite musicians?

Aretha Franklin and Missy Elliot

What musicians do you think influenced you the most?

Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, James Brown, Mahalia Jackson

Why did you decide to become a musician?

It was an accident.

At what age did you get your first break?

My first break professionally was at age eighteen. I was discovered by a recording company producer here in Jackson.

When did you become interested in music?

At age three my mother discovered my singing.

Was there something in particular that got you interested in music?

My mother found that I had a vibrato in my voice at an early age. She began to buy musical instruments and take me to more gospel programs which broadened my awareness and love of music.

What kind of student were you in high school?

I was an average student.

How long did it take you to work on your first album?

It took less than one week; One take for "Misty Blue" took minutes.Misty Blue by Dorothy Moore

Are you working on a new album right now? And if so, do you have a title for it?

No.

Do you have any advice for future musicians?

Do not forget to first be happy at what you are doing, and secondly, do not allow the business to control you. You always control it!

Do you have any advice for students today?

Finish school and get your education. Respect your elders and never forget where you come from.

How has Mississippi or living in Mississippi influenced your music?

It has kept me real. I have never forgotten where I came from.

What were you like as a child?

I was a quiet, obedient child. My great grandmother raised me. I got my fair share of spankings, which I do not regret now.

What are you hobbies?

Fishing of any kind. My rod and reel usually travel with me on long tours.

Is there anymore you would like to add? If so, please feel free to do so.

In spite of being a Rhythm and Blues recording artist, God is first in my life and I attend church regular. The name of my church is The Jackson Revival Center.

Phone Interview with Dorothy Moore
By Shanita Bishop (SHS)

What are you currently doing?

  • First weekend in May-- I will be performing at the Patty Jubilee in Greenville, Mississippi, and in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • on May 16-- performing in Birmingham, Alabama
  • on May 30-- performing in Jamaica
  • June 27-- performing in Monterey, California,  at the Blues and Jazz Festival
  • July 18-- performing in Portland, Oregon
  • Just released a new single

Do you have any children?

Yes, I have a son and a daughterDorothy Moore CD

What would you say was the most important time in your musical career?

After "Misty Blue," the traveling all over the world, and then I went back to Lanier High School where it all began and performed a benefit concert.

Do you have any siblings?

Yes, I have one sister and one brother.

Are you married?

No.

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Timeline

1947- Dorothy Moore was born in Jackson, Mississippi.

1950- Moore’s mother discovered she had a vibrato in her voice.

1952- Dorothy began to sing in The New Stranger Home Baptist Church Choir at age five.

1965- Dorothy graduated from Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi.

1966- Moore and two other students at Jackson State University formed the group The Poppies. They signed with Columbia Records.

1976- Dorothy established a solo career with Malaco Records.
         -Moore's hit single "Misty Blue" topped the chart. Dorothy Moore, Feel the Love

1978- Dorothy took a brief break to be with her family.

1982- Moore returned to public performing..

1989- Dorothy toured Japan with Charlie Jacobs, Jimmy Jarrett, and Dan Harrison.

1990- Moore went on second tour of England.

1992- Dorothy released the album Feel The Love.

1996- Dorothy won Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

1997- Moore's hit single "Misty Blue" was included on Phenomenon soundtrack.
         - Dorothy's Misty Blue and Other Great Hits and More Moore albums were released.

1998- Moore has released hit single "Lie To Me." 


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Related Websites

The Malaco Records Site includes a brief  biography of Dorothy Moore and a list of her albums with song titles.

The Music Boulevard Site allows you to sample Dorothy Moore’s music.


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Bibliography

Allen, Billie. Letter from Dove Production. 3 Jan.1997.

"Dorothy Moore." Malaco Records. (1997): n. pag. Online. World Wide Web.1 Apr. 1998. Available http://www.malaco.com/blues/dmoore/.

 Hood, Orley. "For Moore there’s no place like home." The Clarion Ledger. 16 Feb. 1997.

Larkin, Colin, ed. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Volume 4. United States: Stockton Press, 1995. 2902.

Moore, Dorothy. E-mail interview. 19 Apr. 1998.

Moore, Dorothy. Telephone interview. 20 Apr. 1998.

Myers, Leslie R. "Cloud Nine has finally rolled in for Dorothy Moore." The Clarion Ledger. 20 Oct. 1989.

Myers, Leslie R. "Moore gives Red Cross helping hand." The Clarion Ledger. 16 Nov. 1990.

Myers, Leslie R. "Moore music: Jackson native stages a return." The Clarion Ledger. 15 Jun. 1982.

Myers, Leslie R. "Tour-bound Moore will settle in Hazlehurst." The Clarion Ledger. 25 Jun. 1990.

Pettus, Gray. "Dorothy departs for Japan." The Clarion Ledger. 30 Jun. 1989.

Polson, Jim. "The Homegrown Success of Dorothy Moore." Rankin County News. 3 May 1978. 

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