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John Wooley        

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Mike Gros
OK! Magazine

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Texas Tour
            Poteau Daily News
Steve Clark          

May 2011 OK Magazine

KASU Spotlight

 Swinging West Reviews

                      J PAUL MOORE MUSIC

KASU Spotlight Feature

  Mandolin Magic CD nominated for Western Swing Album of the Year by the Academy of Western Arts


 Texas Promotional Tour July 2011

On 7-18-11, Robert Huston (childhood friend and piano player on Mandolin Magic) and I embarked on a weeklong tour in Texas to promote the new cd. Our approach was old school, in that we did on air spots with a prearranged schedule of radio stations where my music was being played. On some of the stations, we actually performed live with piano and jazz mandolin. We even made local cable TV in Sulphur Springs.
During the course of our trip, we made several new friends and met some very interesting people. I was amazed by the continued popularity of live music in Texas and by all that radio stations there do to promote it. Notable among the new friends we made were Enola Gay of KSST Radio in Sulphur Springs, Sam Upshaw of Pure Country KEQX Radio in Dublin, Jim Russell of Big Country KCLE Radio in Cleburne, Rod Moag and Ted Branson of KOOP Radio in Austin, and Tracy Pitcox of KNEL Radio in Brady.

Interview with Enola Gay, KSST Radio and cable channel 18        Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Paul Moore with Enola Gay, Western Swing DJ of the year as she holds the "Little Axe"

Paul Moore with Sam Upshaw of Pure Country KEQX Radio, Dublin, Texas 

Paul Moore with Jim Russell of Big Country KCLE Radio, Cleburne, Texas

Paul with Rod Moag of KOOP  Radio, Austin,  swingin’ the “Little Ax”

Paul with Tracy Pitcox and Sharon Jackson of KNEL Radio Brady, Texas

Another very special new friend was Sharon Jackson, who helps Tracy Pitcox with the Country Music Museum in Brady. When I walked through the front door wearing my Hank Thompson Sunset Tour cap, Sharon and I had an instant connection. For years, I have been a dyed in the wool Hank Thompson fan, and it turns out that Sharon helped take care of Honk during the last years of his life. Our conversation could have gone on for days, but it was curtailed by the fact that I had to return to Arkansas. Any serious fan of Country or Western Swing music owes it to him/herself to travel to Brady, TX to meet Tracy Pitcox and Sharon Jackson and to see their fascinating museum. What Tracy has done and continues to do for our kind of music is truly phenomenal, and he is to be commended. Go and see!

Paul Moore


POTEAU DAILY NEWS   SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011                                            PAGE 2 A               

J. Paul Moore to join Methodist Choir for “Going Home”

Paul Moore Will join the Celebration Choir of Poteau First United Methodist Church at their morning wor­ship service at 10:30 on Sunday, June 19th. He will be featured on the anthem "Going Home" based on Antonin Dyorak’s Second Movement of the New World Symphony and also will provide Special Music in the Worship Service.

In the summer of 2007, Western Swing fiddle player J Paul Moore went in for a routine physical and was told he had lymphoma.  Moore had been busy burning the candle at both ends with a successful psychology practice in Jonesboro, Arkansas and spent many hours with his first love, Western Swing Music.  Now, Moore’s life was not only suddenly upended, he also come very close to losing the ability to play an instrument.
One of the side effects of the chemotherapy is that it can scar up the blood vessels, and make them tighten up like steel cables. Moore explained.  “The doctor knew I was a musician, so he pulled me off one of the medicines and probably saved my hands”

Today Moore can still play his violin and he has the same beautiful tone he always had, but he becomes fatigued after about 30 minutes of playing.   Before treatments began however he found himself drawn to the music of Tiny Moore (no relation) who had played mandolin with Bob Wills and many others.  
The weekend before his cancer treatment started Moore and his wife Louella jumped in the car, and drove to Nashville where he ordered a custom mandolin from master builder, Jonathan Mann.     Neither Mann nor Paul knew if he would survive to play the instrument but Mann prom­ised to have the instrument completed by Christmas.
Mann delivered the instrument on time and Paul found that the mandolin was the one instrument, because of its size, that he could play without pain while undergoing treatment.

His first gig following treatment was with Robert Huston and his "Barely Can Playboys" that performed at the Old Fort Days Rodeo in 2008.  Since that time Moore has put out a second album titled "Mandolin Magic" to go with his solo violin album, "Central Standard Time" recorded in 2001. "Mandolin Magic" was recorded in Tulsa and is getting airplay in such markets, as Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and even London England. The album is available through his website:

Everyone is invited to attend Sunday's worship service to enjoy his special music in the Christian Family Life Center. Wendy Kelley is the accompanist and the choir is under the direction of Steve Clark. The pastor is Rev. Dr. Greg Tener.

The Poteau Daily News, 804 N. Broadway, Poteau, Ok 74953


You can play or you can't! 
By Steve Clark

Bob Austin, the best musician I ever knew liked to say,"you can either play or you can't".   You have to practice, you have to listen to great people for ideas, but that last piece of the puzzle is deep inside of you. It doesn't matter what type of instrument you play, who your teacher was, where you went to school, or how much sleep you've had. Some musicians play and talk, others play and collect instruments, others just play and play and play, under any conditions.

My favorite "can play anything story" until recently involved the greatest rock and roll trombone player of all time, the band "Chicago's" James Pankow. "Chicago" was back in Chicago for a couple nights-off in 1971 and Pankow and several other members went to Rush Street to see who else was in town. They found a really nice club band called "Central Standard Time" who asked them to sit in with them at the old Rush-Up Club. Future Kansas Music HOF trombonist Greg "Grog" Ayers offered Pankow his horn, a nice King 4-B similar to the one Pankow normally played, but Pankow declined saying, "I'd rather sit in with you guys. I don't want to take your horn. Do you have another trombone around I could use?" All they had was an old student model Olds Ambassador small bore trombone, complete with student mouthpiece, a paper wad stuffed in the spit valve, and a worn out slide with about 20 dents in it that the lead singer occasionally used to blow a couple notes. Pankow looked at the horn and said, "that will work fine." He then got up on stage and played like he always did to an unbelieving Ayers and the total enjoyment of everyone in the club.

I now have a new number one "Can Play" story. This past June in Poteau, Oklahoma,
Western Swing fiddle player Paul Moore had agreed to be the featured violinist with the Poteau First United Methodist Church Choir on a beautiful anthem called, "Going Home" by composer Mary McDonald. The Poteau church was in the process of building a new sanctuary, so services were held in the Christian Family Life Center(gym), and the choir was forced to practice in half of a Sunday school room prior to the church service. The choir after hearing Moore's beautiful tone on the first run through watched in horror as he turned to his wife in the very cramped space and knocked his violin against her guitar. He broke two strings, loosened the tuning keys so they wouldn't work and nearly knocked the bridge off the violin. The choir had been working on the anthem for a month. Moore had just driven 5 hours to be in Poteau and with only 10 minutes until the service, all he could suggest was that he play the solo on his mandolin. Then he said, " ... .let me try one thing". He put the bridge back in place, pulled off the broken strings, and proceeded to play the solo on two strings. It sounded just as good as the first time except members of the relieved choir had tears in their eyes.

I have never believed in excuses so I made no mention of the violin accident to the congregation. Paul played-as beautifully as ever on "Going Home" and now it was the congregation who had tears in their eyes, but no one knew he had played his solos minus two strings. They were so moved by his playing and McDonalds beautiful anthem. Only after the service did I tell a few of my musician friends what had happened. Like Ayers, 40 years earlier they were stunned.

Pankow, Moore, It doesn't matter where you hear them or who they are. Cherish the moment. There are just so many who can just play and play and Paul Moore is now at the top of my list.

Steve Clark
Music Director, First United Methodist Church Poteau, Oklahoma


May 2011 OK Magizine 

Surviving With Western Swing

James Paul Moore’s new CD is a testament to his fight with cancer.
John Wooley

To me, there’s long been an aura of survival around Western swing. After all, the genre itself – a rich synthesis of jazz, pop, blues, country and cowboy music – has managed to survive since the early ‘30s, when Texas expatriate Bob Wills carried it in infant form across the Red River and nurtured it into a strong and robust adulthood at Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom.

Also, as I was reminded recently, the annual Bob Wills birthday show at Cain’s is, as much as anything, a celebration of fans who have survived, along with the music, for another year, as they return from all over to greet old friends and listen and dance once more to the music that was playing when a lot of them first fell in love, often with one another.

The survival theme carries on in Mandolin Magic, a new disc from Arkansas Western-swing musician James Paul Moore. Recorded in February at Tulsa’s Drapp Studio, the CD features a combination of classic and original songs played by a group that includes the well-known Tulsa musicians Darrel Magee on guitar and Mel Buckner on drums. It’s the second album for Moore, following 2001’s Central Standard Time. He played fiddle on that one. On this one, however, he plays mandolin.

The reason for that switch also helps explain why Mandolin Magic is not just a dandy Western-swing disc, but also a metaphor for surviving.

“I’ve been a musician for most of my life; I’ve played swing-style fiddle for about 25 years,” Moore says. “In the summer of 2007, I went in for a physical, and out of the blue, I found out I had lymphoma.

“I’d been blowin’ and goin’, burning the candle at both ends,” he adds. “I had a psychology practice up in Jonesboro, Ark., working all the time. And then, I was going through that whole barrage of chemotherapy and radiation.”

Moore’s life was not only suddenly upended. He also came very close to losing the ability to play an instrument.

“One of the side effects of the chemotherapy is that it can scar up blood vessels, make them tighten up like steel cables,” he explains. “The doctor knew I was a musician, so he pulled me off one of the medicines. He probably saved my hands.”

Before the treatments began, however, Moore began thinking about another man named Moore. Tiny Moore was no relation, but anyone who knows Western swing knows his name, thanks to Tiny’s work with Bob Wills and many others. Tiny Moore had played a custom-made instrument with an extra string, and soon, Paul Moore was looking for a builder who could make him a five-string mandolin like Tiny’s. Paul and his wife, Louella, found three, finally deciding on the Nashville-based Jonathan Mann.

“The weekend before I started my treatments, we jumped in the car and drove down to Nashville,” recalls Moore. “I didn’t want to waste any time; frankly, I didn’t know how much longer I’d be here. So we went down to his house, sat down in his living room, and I played some instruments he had. I commissioned him to build it that day.
“There for a while we went through a big deal where four of the six people on this project were cancer survivors, and this was going to be a celebration of surviving cancer.”

“That was probably in late August. He knew I was sick, and he told me, ‘I think I can have it for you before Christmas.’  Sure enough, the week before, he called me and said it was ready.”

By then, Moore was deep into treatment. He’d go in for his chemotherapy, sit back in one of the recliners provided for the patients, and while the chemicals were pumping through his body, his mind would be on music.

“I was sitting there one day, and I thought, ‘You know, I want to do another album, and I want to play mandolin on it,’” he remembers. “That gave me something to live for. All that winter, when I was sick as a dog, no hair on my body, I’d sit and play the mandolin for hours.”

After months of enduring cancer medication, Moore finally felt well enough to get back on a bandstand. The first gig he got as a mandolin player was with keyboardist Robert Huston and his Barely Can Playboys, who were performing at the Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Ark.

What made Moore’s re-emergence especially noteworthy was the fact that it came on “Pink Night” at the rodeo, supporting the cancer-fighting efforts of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. (Huston and Moore had grown up together in Waldron, Ark., lost track of one another as adults and then found, to their mutual delight, that both loved and played Western swing.)

Soon Moore was recruiting musicians, including Huston, from all across the country for his new CD project. He found a bassist and drummer from Washington – and then was amazed when both revealed that they had also been fighting cancer. The lead guitarist for the sessions, Texas-based Gene Gimble, brother of Western-swing great Johnny Gimble, came aboard, and it turned out he’d had cancer as well.

“So there for a while,” Moore says, “we went through a big deal where four of the six people on this project were cancer survivors, and this was going to be a celebration of surviving cancer.”

The other two participants were rhythm guitarist David Staples, from Tennessee, and keyboardist Huston, with Moore’s wife, Louella, pitching in as a singer and songwriter. Although none of the players were from Tulsa, Moore knew the disc had to be recorded there, not only because it would be “almost a pilgrimage to where it all began,” but also for the city’s proximity to Wagoner and Western Hills Lodge, where the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest and the Oklahoma Fiddlers Association stage annual jams and dances that draw players from across the country.

Moore himself had participated in those events, and he knew that he’d have a big pool of musicians nearby if he timed his recording session to coincide with a Western Hills jam.

So he reserved the studio for a day just before the event. It was a wise move. Just as Moore was finalizing the date, the original drummer and bassist had to pull out because of complications from their treatments, and Gimble, the third of the four cancer survivors slated for the disc, developed health problems as well. With time running out, Moore secured a bassist from Mountain View, Ark., named Penny Miller – a regular at the Wagoner events – and local drummer Buckner. Then, when Gimble had to beg off  – on the eve of the studio session  – Moore got Magee to come to Tulsa’s Ambassador Hotel, the band’s temporary headquarters.

“Darrel was the hero of the project,” says Moore. “He came over and sat in with us on our practice session, and in the middle of it, he kind of stood up, stretched himself, and said, ‘This is pretty tough stuff, but I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun.’

“So we got him a room and he took his guitar and the chord charts up there and spent most of the night and morning studying our arrangements.

“Then we went into the studio,” Moore adds, “and he just blew us away.”

So, through challenges and changes, illness and recovery and relapse, comes Mandolin Magic, one of the newest recordings in a musical style that’s nearly 80 years old.

Western swing, indeed, goes on. The music survives. And so does Paul Moore. For more information, visit www.

This article appears in the May 2011 issue of Oklahoma Magazine


Archive Info:  Community - Apr 30, 2011
Copyright The Sun 2011 

Cancer, music criss-cross local musician's life

By Sherry F. Pruitt, Sun staff writer

JONESBORO — Cancer and music have criss-crossed Paul Moore’s life since 2007, but the final product is “Mandolin Magic,” a double CD that features Moore playing a jazz mandolin.

Moore, a native of Waldron and Magazine, started playing guitar at the age of 11 and took up the violin in his 20s. Yet, in his early years, the music field did not look promising for Moore.

His music teacher pulled Moore’s father to the side one day and said, “Mr. Moore, I hate to see you waste your money. He’ll never play anything.”

Now, with two CDs under his belt — “Central Standard Time” in 2001, in which the violin was the focal instrument and the most recent CD released less than a month ago.

“We packed almost 80 minutes of music on one CD,” Moore said. “We decided to give customers their money’s worth.”

He wound up practicing psychology and playing music on the side, he said.

“Music has always been a thread through my life beginning with the earliest I can remember,” he said. “Music was always there, and it never would leave. I always had that interest and love for it. I played every chance I got.

However, a diagnosis of lymphoma in 2007 slowed Moore down — for awhile.

“In the summer of 2007, I had a major life-changing event,” he said.

At a routine physical, Moore’s physician found a mass in his abdomen that was the size of a soda can and was eventually diagnosed with lymphoma.

“At the time I was diagnosed, I was thinking about having a jazz mandolin built for myself. I had always played violin,” he said.

And the cancer diagnosis did not halt Moore’s plan.

While he was very familiar with the 4-tone, 8-string, acoustic bluegrass mandolin that sounds kind of “twangy and stringy,” the jazz mandolin has a completely different sound. It’s more “western swing” or “cowboy jazz,” Moore explained.

He described its appearance as a baby guitar.

Moore and his wife, Louella Moore, packed their bags, went to a clinic for a positron emission tomography scan and left there for Jolton, Tenn., near Nashville, Tenn., to meet a mandolin maker. Once there, he played a couple of mandolins waiting to be shipped and put a deposit down on one for himself. That was in early September 2007, and it was supposed to be ready by Christmas of that year.

“It was an act of faith,” he said.

Moore started treatments, lost his hair and became ill. However, on Dec. 17, the Moores got a call that the mandolin was ready. While he was under treatment for and recuperating from the disease, he would play the mandolin sitting in his easy chair in the living room of his Jonesboro home. He found that the harsh cancer-killing medications shot into his veins had limited his violin-playing ability. But the mandolin is held and played differently. For that reason, he could excel on it, he said.

“I had no way of knowing that was going to happen. When I got this, it was the answer to my prayers,” he said. “I never get tired of it. This came to my life without me knowing I was going to need it.”

It was during his second chemotherapy treatment while hooked up to an IV that he decided to make a second CD.

“I started making plans that day,” Moore said.

And the CD was completed in February and released less than a month ago.

Musicians who accompany Moore include: Robert Huston of Van Buren, piano player; David Staples of Memphis, rhythm guitar; Darrel Magee of Inola, Okla., lead guitar, Scotty Henderson of Camdenton, Mo., steel guitar; Mel Buckner of Tulsa, Okla., drummer; and Penny Miller of Mountain View, bass. Moore’s wife is on vocals on a few of the tracks.

The CD is available at Hastings, Back Beat Music and Al-Star Music in Jonesboro and online at and through

Copyright The Sun 2011


KASU Spotlight On The Arts

On a warm spring day, my wife Louella and I walked into the KASU Radio Studios to drop off some flyers announcing the upcoming release party for the new cd, Mandolin Magic. As we entered the reception area, we encountered general manager Mike Doyle. We struck up a conversation about my new cd, and about two minutes later, Mike asked,"Could you do an interview right now?". We proceeded back to a recording room, and Mike conducted this interview which initially aired on 4-28-11. In the short time that I have known Mike Doyle, he has become a fast friend and a great supporter of my music. I greatly respect and admire all that he does to perpetuate "real" radio in the northeast Arkansas area.

Paul Moore

Mike Gross  
Swinging West Reviews

Album: Mandolin Magic

Artist: Paul Moore

Paul Moore plays an awesome Western Swing sound on his 5 string mandolin. It doesn't stop there! On this new CD of 15 extra length tunes Paul also surrounds himself with some other unbelievably talented musicians to create an excellent end product. Mandolin Magic features the five string mandolin on originals and swinging classics from the American songbook. A fun CD, it’s obvious the musicians had a blast working on this project. Produced by a cancer survivor, the album celebrates life and good music. The arrangements allow plenty of room for the Hall of Fame steel, lead guitar, and drummer to show their stuff. Swing standards like Oh, Lady Be Good and Canadian Sunset are packed with new pieces like Paul’s Boogie and the title song, Mandolin Magic, which takes a dreamy ride in Bmaj7. Vocals on A Waltz for Yesterday focus on the good things from days gone by and September Rain reminds us the times weren’t always good!

In addition to Paul we can enjoy the incredible steel guitar of Scotty Henderson, the rhythm guitar of David Staples, the lead guitar of Darrel Magee and the guitar of Louella Moore. Louella is also heard on three vocals, the original A Waltz for Yesterday, Old Cape Cod from the Patti Page hit parade and Jerome Kern's The Way You Look Tonight. Other musicians include the very enjoyable piano of Robert Huston and the rhythm section of Penny Miller on bass and Mel Buckner playing drums and brushes.

The album opens with the jazzy Twelfth Street Rag and then goes on to the beautiful Hoagy Carmichael gem, The Nearness of You. Besides the previously mentioned waltz, other originals from Paul's pen are Little Axe, Mandolin Magic, Paul's Boogie and a gem on which he also sings, September Rain. Other standards include Laura, Gershwin's Lady Be Good, the Tommy Edwards memory It's All in the Game and Eddie Heywood's Canadian Sunset. Paul borrows from the big bands, Tangerine from Jimmy Dorsey and Jersey Bounce from Benny Goodman.

This album can be ordered at www.JPAULMOOREMUSIC.COM

Mike Gross, KSEY-FM, Seymour, TX

May 14, 2011