Throwback Thursday – Lattie Moore, Rockabilly Hometown Hero

Southern Kentucky has a rich music heritage. It’s home to the fathers of ragtime and newgrass music like Ernest Hogan and Sam Bush, and to modern rockers like Cage the Elephant. Today we feature Scottsville’s rockabilly country star, Mr. Lattie Moore.

Born in 1924 to Dora and Homer Leo Moore, Lattie grew up in Allen County. He learned to play mandolin, guitar, and upright bass in his early years and had a knack for music. His first job was projectionist at the Scottsville movie theatre, where he watched some of the most famous cowboys of Hollywood’s golden years. He was a big Gene Autry fan, along with Hank Snow, Roy Acuff and Hank Williams.

Lattie left Scottsville at age 19, hitchhiking to Indianapolis thinking he would land a record deal. He played country music in small venues throughout the 1940s while searching for his big break. In 1951 he got his first record release, on the Arrow label, singing “Hideaway Heart.” He also landed a radio gig on the Midwestern Jamboree Show on WIBC Indy radio.

A year later he was recording another single in Nashville. “Juke Joint Johnny” was released by Speed records in 1952 and hailed as the first rockabilly hit out of Music City. He started writing more songs and working with some of the best country musician accompanists and producers of the era, like Don Helms, Zeke Turner, Tommy Jackson and George jones.

The 1960s were the last of Lattie Moore’s heydays. He gave up the rock and roll sound and played straight country. He supported Johnny Cash, and cut songs by Ray Pennington and Jerry Reed. He left the King label in the late 1960s and finished his music career quietly before passing away in Bowling Green in 2010.