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Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore dead at 84

Scotty Moore
Scotty Moore 1931~2016 (Image credit: Getty)

Elvis Presley’s first guitarist Scotty Moore has died at the age of 84 at his Nashville home.

He was the last survivor of the musical group that helped forge the King’s success, along with bassist Bill Black, producer Sam Phillips, and later, drummer JD Fontana.

His work with Presley is credited with inspiring Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and many others, and he’s credited with being a major contributor to the development of rock music.

Confirming Moore’s death, biographer James L Dickerson told Billboard: “I consider him one of the co-founders of rock’n’roll because of the guitar licks he invented.”

Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla said: “Elvis loved Scotty dearly and treasured those amazing years together.

“The incredible music that Scotty and Elvis made together will live for ever, and influence generations to come.”

Moore – full name Winfield Scott Moore III – met Presley in 1954 at the Sun Records studios in Memphis. The guitarist said in 2014: “Sam turned to me and said, ‘Why don’t you listen to this boy and see what you think?’ I said, ‘Elvis Presley – what the hell kind of a name is that?’”

He left the band in 1957, frustrated with the way the organisation was being run. But he said 40 years later: “It’s not that I feel bitterness – just disappointment.”

He took part in the 1968 TV special that relaunched Presley’s career, but they never collaborated again. After a number of musical engagements he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall OF Fame in 2000 and became a studio manager.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.