Wayne Moss: Musician’s Spotlight October 2010

Wayne Moss has played an active role in putting Nashville musicians in the spotlight, worldwide. Just a few of the artists and songwriters that Wayne Moss has played guitar with include: Bob Dylan, the Steve Miller Band, Nancy Sinatra, Roy Orbison, Brenda Lee, Linda Ronstadt, Mike Nesmith, Carl Perkins, Lefty Frizzell, Charlie Daniels, Joan Baez, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Leo Kottke, Kris Kristofferson, and Charley Pride. A founding member of three of Nashville’s most famous bands; The Escorts, Area Code 615, and Barefoot Jerry. Wayne’s also had songs he wrote recorded by Mac Davis, Brenda Lee, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys and many others. He’s a multi instrumentalist and the owner of Cinderella Studio which opened in 1960. Wayne has been making music for over 60 years and he’s still going strong, recording, producing, and playing live. The following is taken from a 40 minute one on one interview at the longest running working recording studio in Nashville. Wayne’s studio, Cinderella Studio, on August 21, 2010.

Meet Wayne Moss:

Q: Do you remember your first guitar?

A: Yeah, it was a open hole, my dad got for $6 at a pawn shop. I loaned it to a guy and then he loaned it to somebody and they wrote Hank Williams will live forever on it, and I never saw it again.

Q: How old were you?

A: About 8.

Q: Do you remember your first paid gig?

A: We played an Odd Fellows lodge, me and a guy named Charlie and I was scared to death. I just played guitar and he sang, but my first regular paying gig was with an outfit called Sleepy Jeffers and the Pioneer Pals, that was in Charleston, West Virginia. Sleepy was a radio DJ on WTIP in Charleston, playin’ country music and he would go out and do gigs at schools and stuff all over West Virginia and Virginia, Kentucky, so we did a lot of traveling. We would all travel together in the Cadillac he had and put the upright bass up over the front seats, all the way to the back of the thing. So a lot of the traveling I did was with my head to one side because I couldn’t move it straight up on account of the upright bass (laughing).

Q: How much did you make, how much did they pay you to do that?

A:  Oh, I don’t know, $7 or something like that. We had a TV show we did every Thursday at WOAY TV in Oak Hill, West Virginia, and we had to travel through a bunch of coal mine camps to get there and every time we went through one of those things I was glad I knew how to play guitar because I didn’t wanna work in a coal mine.

Q: So when did you come to Nashville and did you know somebody here?

A: 1959. My mom lived here.

Q: Everybody in the world knows you as a guitar player. Do you play other instruments?

A: I play bass on the first Barefoot Jerry effort. Well I played some bass on sessions that we did with Charlie McCoy and The Escorts. He would just hire the whole band to go in and play, Joe Simon, or whoever it was. So we cut two #1 R&B records in the same session. “Yours Love” and “The Chokin’ Kind”, that Harlan Howard wrote. I ended up playing bass on Everybody Must Get Stoned with Bob Dylan (“Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35”).

Q: Is there anybody you’ve always wanted to play with that you haven’t?

A: Oh gosh, I don’t know. I’ve played with a whole lot of folks. I’ve never played on one of Brenda’s (Brenda Lee) sessions. I worked on the road with her for 2 years and Owen Bradley taught us all vocal parts, stuff to sing (singing “I’m sorry, so sorry”.) we said we can’t sing, he said, “Yeah you can, grab a spot right here and you get this other”, so it turned out we sang good enough to sing backup with Brenda. She cut one of my songs but I never worked one of her sessions. The song of mine that she cut is the B side of “Coming On Strong”, that’s the only million seller I’ve ever had, “You Keep Running Back To Me”, but nobody ever heard it because it’s on the B side (laughing).

Q: Do you have a preference between playing live or in the studio?

A: I like ’em both, I mean they’re different. I like the way McCoy puts it. He said, “You can play a tape machine back and it’ll tell you what you did, it doesn’t tell you if anybody likes it. But if you’re playing live you know instantly if they approve of it or if they didn’t like it.” So you don’t get the instant gratification out of something you do in the studio, you gotta use your sense of good judgment as to whether people will like it or not, but if you’re playing live you know right away. They’re good in both respects.

Visit Wayne Moss on line at www.barefootjerry.com and see him play live every Sunday in Nashville, at the Pickadilly Cafeteria on Gallatin Road from 5:00 to 7:00pm. You can listen to this very cool entire interview at www.bronsonsmusic.com/wayne_moss.html

©2010 by Bronson Herrmuth

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