Watch: Paul Simon Dedicates ‘That’s All Right’ to Scotty Moore

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Paul Simon performing "That's All Right" in tribute to Scotty Moore at Forest Hills, NY, June 30, 2016

Paul Simon performing “That’s All Right” in tribute to Scotty Moore at Forest Hills, NY, June 30, 2016

At the penultimate performance of his current tour – and perhaps his final U.S. tour as he hinted to The New York Times earlier this week – Paul Simon dedicated a song Thursday night (June 30) at Forest Hills (NY) Tennis Stadium to the rock’n’roll guitar pioneer Scotty Moore who died two days earlier, on June 28. Fittingly, the singer-songwriter’s performance was “That’s All Right,” one of the early Elvis Presley hits on which Moore played.

“For Scotty Moore,” was Simon’s simple introduction and the crowd sang and clapped throughout. The song was the first song of the second encore of the singer-songwriting legend’s career-spanning, 28-song hometown set.

Moore, with Bill Black on double bass, combined with Presley to help launch modern day rock’n’roll. At Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios in Memphis, the trio recorded Elvis’ first hit, “That’s All Right (Mama),” on July 5, 1954.

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As Best Classic Bands wrote in our Moore obituary: It was Moore who established the electric guitar as the lead instrument in rock’n’roll. In the early days there was as likely to be a sax solo as a guitar solo on a rock’n’roll record. Moore’s work with Elvis set the stage for the guitar’s rise—visually as well as musically—as the quintessential instrument in the music.

Related: Scotty Moore, Presley Guitarist on Early Hits Dies

In his Times interview, Simon noted:  “It’s an act of courage to let go. I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I’m going to see, who am I?

“I don’t have any fear of it,” Simon says of ending his musical career.

Related: Simon says retirement is imminent

Best Classic Bands reviewed one of the recent dates on Simon’s tour, in which he’s promoting his marvelous new studio album, Stranger to Stranger. “At 74, his voice is still clear and retains all his range. He didn’t sing with power, but he’s never really been a screamer or belter. And the doo wop influence on his singing could be heard here and there throughout.”

Related: Paul Simon’s ‘gem of a concert’

The U.S. tour ends Friday night, July 1, with a second Forest Hills date. Simon will play a European tour this fall. Following that, his plans remain open, maybe “drift and travel for a year, he said, perhaps with his wife, the musician and composer Edie Brickell, if her work permits,” the Times reports.

Related: Paul Simon is masterful on his new Stranger to Stranger album

Best Classic Bands Staff
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