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Nov. 30: This month marks the 45th anniversary of Roger Miller’s recording of his tongue-in-cheek celebration of the hobo’s life, a number that has become part of the Great American Songbook. I’m featuring it to honor the man who provided the record’s opening notes — legendary bassist Bob Moore, a pillar of the Nashville recording industry, who today turns 77.

We’ve talked about Miller before, in the discussion of the Ernest Tubb hit “Half A Mind,” which he wrote in his early days in Nashville. For more on the supremely talented and versatile artist — including the background on the multi-Grammy-winning recording of “King Of The Road” — check out this essay on CountryMusicTreasures.com.

We haven’t discussed Bob Moore, the Nashville native whose bass work provided the underpinning to thousands upon thousands of songs recorded in Music City, Hollywood and elsewhere. But we have featured records he played on, including selections from Patsy Cline, Jimmy Dean, Bobby Helms, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Locklin, Loretta Lynn, Elvis Presley, Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Jeannie C. Riley, Kenny Rogers, Mel Street, Conway Twitty and Tammy Wynette. Largely from his studio work with Elvis from 1958-68, I was inspired to begin the (subsequently abandoned) effort to learn upright bass, and I always perk up when I discover a record he played on, or find out after growing to love a record that he was a part of it. Happy birthday, Mr. Moore.  You should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

For more on Moore, read the Hall of Fame’s article on his inclusion in the Nashville Cats program, which celebrates the musicians behind the songs. And here he is in his own words, recorded last year as part of an oral history project by the NAMM music products trade group.

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