Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rudy Ray Moore 1927-1981

Rudy Ray Moore died yesterday. He produced and starred in such films as Dolemite, The Human Tornado and Petey Wheatstraw. His entire filmography is here. He also cut dozens of comedy LP's and some great R&B 45's. The bests of his R&B sides were compiled by Norton Records in 2000. Since I bought the double disc vinyl instead of the CD and my turntable lacks USB plugs I can't post any tunes, you're gonna have to buy this one, it's worth it.
I met Rudy twice, the first time (pictured above) we shared a table at the WFMU Record Fair and he kicked off his 1996 presidential campaign by appearing on my radio show (bad move). He hustled for every penny, signing everything he sold from back scratchers to CD's. The second time, Camel cigarettes paid him to appear at the Lakeside Lounge Christmas Party in 2000. It's now illegal to take cigarette company money for such things. Nice law, Bloomberg, you twerp. Rudy put on a great show despite the fact that his brain was starting to go.
What struck me most about Moore was how little like his Dolemite persona he was in real life. He was a strict Muslim and didn't drink, smoke or dope. He was very serious, taciturn, and business like. I wonder if he felt silly dying from nuthin'? I've also included a handwriting sample for those of you into handwriting analysis.
Goodbye Rudy, there's a sharp dresser in heaven tonight.


Eric said...

Excellent nod to Redd Foxx!

Anonymous said...

That was a show at the Lakeside that I'll never forget. Afterwards Jimmy "Mr. Motion" Lynch told me about the time when Rudy took ill and was pronounced dead. Jimmy said that at the time he told the doctor, "Doc, you'd better check him again. He can't be dead. This is DOLEMITE we're talkin' about!"

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