MERRILL E. MOORE'S SONGS:
'Rock rock-ola' - whether you prefer to call it boogie blues or
'rock 'n' roll', this 1955 song was deeply rooted in the Moon Mullican
tradition & certainly deserved the same success as Bill Haley's '
Rock around the clock' of the same time.
'House of blue lights' - the song Merrill Moore's most famous for.
Originally a Freddie Slack/Ella Mae Morse duet,Jerry Lee Lewis also
cut it - and it was from Moore's version that Jerry Lee learned it.In
the '60s,Lewis acknowledged Moore as a major influence,but denied
ever hearing (of) him in the 1970s.
'Big bug boogie' - another boogie-blues very much in Moon Mullican's
'Saddle boogie' - a powerful instrumental boogie that represented
the primitive energy of Moore's piano style.
'Corrine Corrina' - an old blues standard.Moore's version owes most
to Bob Wills,another idol of Merrill Moore.Was Merrill Moore where
Jerry Lee learned this,too?Well,it's either him or Big Joe Turner or
Bob Wills (and Lewis probably,or should I say DEFINITELY knew all 3).
Although he probably won't admit it!!
'Red light' - another excellent blues boogie.Writer credit goes to
Jimmie McHugh (a writer for Frank Sinatra,etc.).This song is clearly
not Mv Hugh's style - Merrill probably transformed the song to his
'Bartender's blues' - a bluesy country song,backed with boogie piano.
'Hard top race' - another fast & furious boogie blues.
'Nola boogie' - normally a guitar standard,Merrill Moore turns in a
fine boogie piano instrumental version.
'Bell bottom boogie' - this was the '50s not the '70s!!When bell
bottoms were worn exclusively by sailors,not hippies!!Excellent
boogie blues again.
'Doggie house boogie' - another boogie (written by Fred Rose).The
theme is similar to Hank Williams' 'Move it on over'.
'Sweet Jenny Lee' - a fine country-blues instrumental.
'Fly right boogie' - the usual mix of boogie & blues but there is a
hint of jazz & ragtime here,too.
'One way door' - an excellent boogie-country-rocker.
'Snatchin' & grabbin'' - more uptempo boogie blues.
'I think I love you too' - a slower country ballad it may be,but the
piano boogies as usual.
'Ten,Ten A.M' - the influence of ragtime on Merrill Moore was as big
as that of boogie - on this jazzy number,he effortlessly combines
'Yes indeed' - is this gospel,or love?Whatever the theme,it's
another excellent uptempo number.
'5 foot 2 eyes of blue' - this is another song that Merrill Moore &
Jerry Lee Lewis shared.When Jerry Lee & Mickey Gilley were on a show
together,this ragtimey song was one of the ones they chose in a
medley of songs from their youth.Moore was almost certainly the
influence.Refer to other parts of the Moon Mullican page to read
about Lewis' peculiar relationships with roots music.
'Cow Cow boogie' - a hybrid of 'Milk cow blues','Cattle call' & the
old 'Cow cow boogie' instrumental?This 'Cow cow boogie' was written
by Freddie Slack & recorded by him & Ella Mae Morse.Further evidence
of Slack's influence on Moore.
'Boogie my blues away' - the track that gave name to the collection -
another fine boogie blues.
'Rock island line' - this was originally an old Leadbelly gospel
blues from 1940.Through the years,Leadbelly began adding other,more
secular verses. Merrill turns in a superb version,mixing both gospel
& secular verses that bettered those versions by Lonnie Donegan,Johnny
Cash & Carl Perkins.
'King Porter stomp' - this is Merrill Moore's jazz side at its best.
'Cooing to the wrong pigeon' - an excellent uptempo blues.
'She's gone' - Bob Wills' 'She's gone',an excellent medium-tempo
country song, gets a truly remarkable interpretation from Moore.
'Down the road apiece' - another song Moore shared with Freddie
Slack/Ella Mae Morse & Jerry Lee Lewis.Amos Milburn recorded the
R&B hit version of this.Jerry Lee turned in a remarkable take in 1995,
that was a major highlight on 'Young blood'.Merrill Moore or Amos
Milburn were probably his 2 main influences.The style is akin to
'House of blue lights' (which also came up on 'Young blood' - so
Lewis was thinking a lot about Merrill Moore at this time...).
'Gotta gimme whatcha got' - the title of this song has Jerry Lee
Lewis written all over it!!And so has the style.
'Nursery rhyme blues' - like many,Merrill Moore enjoys combining
nursery rhymes with suggestiveness.The style?electrifying boogie.
'Buttermilk baby' - the jazzy swinging style combined with the
boogie woogie here echoes a lot of Jerry Lee's uptempo country
'Barrelhouse Bessie' - by the title,you'd guess that this was boogie
'Tuck me to sleep in my old Tucky home' - Moore swings through a
Stephen Foster-type song at ease.
'Music music music' - Guy Mitchell & many others cut a vocal version
of this uptempo country-pop number,but somehow failed to hit the
nail on the head.The song was one of the first pop hits out of a
style that hinted at what was to be called 'rock 'n' roll'.Moore's
instrumental version is made of tougher stuff & gives the tune its
'Sun valley walk' - another instrumental showpiece of Moore's piano
abilities, demonstrating an excellent mix of blues,boogie & ragtime.
'Lazy river' - an old Hoagy Carmichael standard.Moore turns in a
great instrumental version,demonstrating his ragtime style at its
best.Jerry Lee delivered a short instrumental jam version of this
in 1983.The most famous vocal version in the rock 'n' roll era was
by Gene Vincent in 1956 - it didn't match Merrill Moore's instrumental
in any way.
'Back home Indiana' - more excellent ragtimey instrumental material.
'South' - yet another ragtime-type instrumental,similar to the
approach of Moon Mullican on 'Louisian'' or 'Magnolia rag'.
'Shanty in old Shanty Town' - an old Bessie Smith-type jazz/blues
standard that Del Wood brought into the country field of music.Jerry
Lee did an excellent but uunfinished vocal version in 1958,around the
same time as Moore did it as an excellent instrumental.The approach
of Moore on tracks like this,Jerry Lee on tracks like 'I'll see you
in my dreams' & Moon Mullican on ones like 'Magnolia rag' are very
similar to each other & shows the major links between all these
'Sweet Georgia Brown' - this was another excellent ragtime-derived
instrumental.Jerry Lee did a superb,wild vocal version in 1970 - the
highlight on the 'There must be more to love than this' album.
'Nobody's sweetheart' - another showpiece of Moore's ragtime
abilities on an instrumental.
'Jumpin' at the woodside' - a similar performance to 'Sweet Georgia
'Somebody stole my gal' - ditto this.
'Moore blues' - Moore was also adept at slow blues piano-playing &
this instrumental is the evidence.
'Sentimental journey' - an old standard,ragtime in style.Moore's
instrumental of it is definitive.Others like Fats Domino also have