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Thacker News: A Mississippi singing legend in Clinton Saturday

The word “legend” gets tossed around rather loosely (ditto, “iconic”) but if ever those words apply it would be to Dorothy Moore, a Mississippi rhythm and blues master of 50 years and counting. This Saturday in Clinton, MS, you can see -and hear- for yourself.

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will play host to Moore this Saturday, June 15 at 6 pm at the Clinton High School auditorium. Tickets are $15 and are available from Clinton Arts Council members, at the door, or online at the Art Council’s website, www.artscouncilofclinton.org.

Tickets are also good for a live jazz after-party on the Bricks at Olde Towne Clinton.

Along with Dorothy Moore, guests on the Thacker Hour will include author Richard Grant (“Dispatches From Pluto”) and Cajun fiddler Amanda Shaw. The show is hosted by Oxford writer Jim Dees and Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers.

The Clinton High School auditorium is located at 401 Arrow Drive.

There will be no live broadcast of the Clinton performance; the show will air on Saturday, June 22 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) and Alabama Public Radio. The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour can be heard in the Clinton/Jackson area every Saturday at 7 pm on MPB, carried locally on WMPN 91.3 FM.

Though known as a rhythm and blues vocalist, Moore’s sound is also deeply rooted in country music.

“A lot of my career has been centered around country music,” she told the Jackson Clarion Ledger’s Billy Watkins in 2018. “A lot of my songs were country before I recorded them.”

Indeed, Watkins reports that her biggest hit, “Misty Blue” was written by the late Bob Montgomery, who was based in Nashville. It went to No. 4 on the country charts. Moore’s soulful take on Willie Nelson’s “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away,” rose to the Top Ten on the R&B charts.

A four-time Grammy nominee, Dorothy Moore was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2001 and shared a Blues Trail marker in 2008 with Jackson’s Alamo Theatre where she won numerous amateur singing competitions as a child. Her most recent CDs, all released on her Farish Street Records label include, Blues Heart, Gittin Down Live and I’m Doing Alright.

Moore told Watkins that she is “Mississippi through and through. Nothing but peas and cornbread. I’m proud to be from Mississippi, and I hope the folks are proud of me.”

Richard Grant’s Dispatches From Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta (Simon and Shuster) came out in 2015 and immediately became a national bestseller and a publishing phenomenon in Mississippi. The book, a zany yet heartfelt chronicle of Grant’s year spent moving from Manhattan to Holmes County, MS, won The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Mississippi author Curtis Wilkie wrote: “In the best tradition of Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, British travel writer Richard Grant explores the otherworldly Mississippi Delta by settling into an aging plantation home and letting himself be captured by an eccentric, racially-tortured and wondrously hospitable culture. Dispatches from Pluto is wise, wry, sympathetic and spot-on.”

Grant was born in Malaysia, lived in Kuwait, London, Tucson, AZ, and New York City before moving to the Delta. He currently lives in Jackson, MS.

“My daughter has a confused accent,” he says.

Amanda Shaw is a fiddler, singer-songwriter, bandleader and actress from Mandeville, LA now based out of New Orleans. Shaw and her band, the Cute Guys, are known for their fiery, energetic performances that are Cajun-based but also explore rock and roll, country, blues and funk-flavored R&B. The band members have played with Shaw since she was a ten-year-old classically-trained prodigy. Shaw’s CDs include I’m Not a Bubble Gum Pop Princess (2004), Pretty Runs Out (2008), Good Southern Girl (2010) and the upcoming (tentatively titled) Please, Call Me Miss Shaw.

Check out her cover of “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” by The Clash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFoA0n9yjas 

Don’t miss this great line-up Saturday night in Clinton! See you there!

Photo of Dorothy Moore: Mark Yacovone