Born August 1929, Plainview, Arkansas
Roy Moss started out in country music just in time to get caught up in rock n roll when it began taking hold in 1954-55. Elvis Presley helped him get onto the Louisiana Hayride during his early days. Roy got his first big break when he appeared on radio WNOP in Newport, Kentucky, and met up with the host, Jimmie Skinner. Skinner (1909-1979) was an important country singer who scored his biggest hits between 1957 and 1960, on Mercury. He got Moss signed to that label in 1955 and at the tail end of that year, Roy was taken to Nashville for his first recording session. Four songs were recorded, two of them written by Skinner and all four were released on two singles : "You're My Big Baby Now"/"You Nearly Lose Your Mind" (Mercury 70770, released January 1956) and "Corrine Corrinna"/ "You Don't Know My Mind" (Mercury 70858, May 1956). Authentic rockabilly with an effervescent acoustic quality. These four Mercury sides have all been reissued on the Bear Family CD "That'll Flat Git It, Vol. 1" CD (BCD 16101), devoted to the Mercury label. There were probably more Mercury sessions, but no further releases on the label.
In 1958, Moss was signed to the Fascination label in Highland Park, Michigan, best known for the single "Big Green Car" by Jimmy / Billy Carroll. There Roy cut the single "Yes, Juanita's Mine" (coupled with the equally strong "Wiggle Walkin' Baby"), with Cliff Allen's band. The song is best known as "Juanita", one of the classic tracks on Dale Hawkins's debut album, "Oh Suzy Q". Both sides were pure rock n roll, but like the two Mercury releases, this single was less than stellar in its sales and Moss remained unknown outside various corners of the South. Roy subsequently worked with country stars like Pee Wee King, Cowboy Copas and Ray Price before retiring to make ends meet by raising beef cattle in the hills of Southern Tennessee. He disappeared from view until 1994, when Eagle Records in Germany released a CD ("Rockin' Roy", Eagle 901070), with 18 tracks by Moss, twelve of them previously unissued. I do not have this CD, but Bruce Eder (All Music Guide) describes it as "Eighteen classic cuts by Roy Moss, stipped-down high energy rockabilly." The track listing is here http://rcs.law.emory.edu/rcs/comps/e/eag1873.htm In 1995, "Now Dig This" magazine carried news of a potential comeback. Moss planned on recording an album of rockabilly standards with the Rev. Horton Heat and duets with Barbara Pittman whose then husband Willi opined: "Roy's in great shape. He still has that '50s hairstyle and he sounds wonderful". Sadly, nothing came of those schemes.
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