by Johnny Moore's Blazers
With Rudy Toombs
Eddie Williams - Bass
on Blaze 101A
released circa 1954
Above: (L-R) Johnny Moore, Eddie Williams, Oscar Moore, and Charles Brown.
Above: Pictures of Johnny Moore's Blazers. Other than Johnny Moore, Rudy Toombs and Eddie Williams (all shown on the label), it is not known who else is on "Miss Mosey." Charles Brown left the group in the late 1940's to pursue a single artist career. Oscar Moore (Johnny's brother), who had been with Nat "King" Cole, joined the Blazers in late 1947, but was he still with them for this recording? Not likely due to the absence of his name on the label.
Pittsburgh Courier, July 5, 1947: Three Blazers Seek Chirper, NEW YORK—Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, currently among the Nation's foremost instrumental and vocal trios, may soon become a quartet, provided the boys can come across a girl musician who can play the vibraphone and also do a spot of topnotch vocalizing.
Johnny Moore, leaderman of the rhythmic threesome, revealed that he is seriously considering the idea of adding a girl to his very popular unit to reach the ultimate in versatility. The Blazers will audition girl musicians who wish to apply for this coveted spot in all towns they play on their current one-niter tour through the Midwest. "I want to make it very clear, however," declared Johnny, "that we will not add a girl to our outfit just for the sake of novelty. If we cannot uncover a girl whose talents are truly outstanding and original, we will forget about the whole idea,"
Pittsburgh Courier, July 26, 1947: Three Blazers Hot On Wax, Sales Soar, NEW YORK—Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, whose unique musical talents have made their unit one of the hottest box office attractions in the entertainment field today, may emerge this year with a new high mark for record sales, proving that their sensational success on wax last year was no mere flash in the pan.
According to an announcement from the office of Leon Rene, president of the Exclusive Record Company for which label the trio records exclusively, the Blazers sold a total of 2,725,000 records during the first six months of '47, with all indications pointing to a total sale of between six and seven million platters before year's end....
New York Age, June 5, 1948: The Three Blazers On Apollo Stage—The Three Blazers first sprang into public favor about four years ago. Patterned somewhat along the lines of the King Cole Trio, some of their recordings exceed the latter organization in popularity. At the Apollo the Three Blazers drew larger crowds than did the King Cole Trio. The same thing happened in other major cities. Oscar Moore, the featured guitarist with the King Cole Trio, is now one of the Three Blazers. Charlie Brown, singer and pianist, and Eddie Williams, master of the string bass, are the other two members. Each one has been featured on recordings as a star in his own right. Together they are being hailed as the nation's foremost instrumental and vocal trio.
In the field of recordings the Blazers have about a dozen remarkable hits to their credit. These include: "Johnny's Boogie", "You Taught Me To Love You", "C.O.D.", "New Orleans" and others. While none of these have as yet hit the mark attained by their recording of "Drifting Blues" it must be remembered that this last named record has sold, to date, beyond the three million mark....Statistics reveal that during their brief existence recordings made by the Three Blazers have exceeded the ten million mark.
From New York Age dated 10/11/52... First Tune Netted $25, But Now He Writes Hits:
Have you heard "Teardrops From My Eyes," "One Mint Julip," "Go-Long" or "Easy, Easy Baby?" You must have heard one of them. These catchy jump tunes were written by Rudy Toombs, a quiet, pleasant easy-going sort of guy whose head and home is packed with tune.
A few weeks ago Rudy was walking along 125th St. humming a tune. "Sounds like you are dreaming up another hit," this reporter said to the conservatively dressed former dancer, who also did bits on stage and screen. "No, I think I already have written it. I will look it up when I get home," he answered as a smile broke over his face.
"Going home now?" the reporter asked inquisitively. "No, I am on my way to the Baby Grand to see Willie Bryant and Ray Carroll. I have a recording of "A Little Piece Of Puddin'," by Frankie Laine and Jo Stafford." "A what?" he was asked. "Oh, it's a little ditty I dreamed up one afternoon when I was eating some pudding."
...."I began writing songs as a hobby. I had no idea of making a living out of it. My first song, "Won't Be Long Now," brought me $25 from Leeds, the publisher. I was very happy and the money inspired me to write more.
....got a chance to play in a few movies, including "Reet Petite And Gone" with Louis Jordan, "Pigmeat's House Rent Paty," "Ghost Walks," "Tall Tan And Terrific," and wrote the theme for "Sepia Cinderella" along with Ruble Blakey and Eric Miller. Blakey starred in the movie.
Before bidding good night the songsmith who wrote "5-12-15 Hours," "Daddy Daddy," "Don't Worry Me No More," "Tired Of Loving You," "Last Night's Party," "Better Be On My Way," "Greyhound," and many more, gave me a copy of "Last Night's Party," which recently was waxed by Phil Harris and the Bell Sisters. The wind seemed to be whistling a tune as the reporter drifted away.
From New York Age dated 8/14/54... Rudy Got 'Lumps' In 'Tin Pan Alley' (By Rudy Toombs):
Up until I trapped lightning in a bottle four years ago, my "beat" was Tenth avenue and Broadway, from 59th to 42nd streets. My "office" was the second fireplug down, in front of the Brill building (I've since "leased" my spot to several of the boys, who've in turn sublet it to hopefuls along the stroll).
Yes, I'm considered what is generally known as a "successful songwriter," but it wasn't as easy as that. I've worn out at least five pairs of shoes, lost ten years sleep, and acquired scores of grey hairs for every hit song which came from my pen.
Among these have been "Go Long," "Wig Blues," "Rugged Road Blues," "One Mint Julip," "Piece Of Puddin'," "Teardrops From My Eyes," "5-10-15 Hours," "Greyhound" and others.
It's not just coloring when a composer tells you of the years of heartbreak he encountered before he hit the top. Who can imagine Benny Benjamin walking ten miles a day trying to peddle "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire," but he did. I was writing about seven years before I saw the light—the "light" being the gleam in a publisher's eyes.
I'll give you a little tip: To be a success in this heartbreak business, you must have a lot of nerve, the talent, and a great deal of luck. Without the third, you might as well forget it—the competition is too keen....
EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
Above Left: Clipping from Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News dated 5/1/53. Note the misspelling of Mari Jones' name.
Above Top Right: Label image for Modern 918 released in 1953.
Above Bottom Right: Mari Jones.
The Billboard Review (11/28/53):JOHNNY MOORE'S THREE BLAZERS - MODERN 918....
Too Late (70) Mari Jones, fem chirp, impresses with her vocal style in a smooth rendition of an attractive waltz ballad. Disk includes good usage of an organ in the background and some multiple track stuff.
You're Gonna Be Sorry (67) Latin-American beat on a pop-r.&b. item lets chirp Mari Jones and an unnamed male (Moore?) deliver an attractive vocal.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 60-69 was considered at least "satisfactory and 70-79 was considered "good.")
Listen to "Too Late" - Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Featuring Mari Jones - Modern 918 - 1953.
Listen to "You're Gonna Be Sorry" - Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Featuring Mari Jones - Modern 918 - 1953.
In addition to Modern (1952-53), Mari Jones also had releases with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers on the Aladdin (1951-52), Rhythm & Blues (1953), Hollywood (1953), and Money (1954) labels.
THREE BLAZERS PHOTOS: [FROM HANS-JOACHIM KROHBERGER]
Above: Label image of Blaze 101A produced circa 1954. The flip is "Every Time" with Rudy Toombs and composed by Toombs, but with no group singing.
Marv Goldberg believes this is probably a custom pressing to be sold at performances. Bolstering this thought, the record was not reviewed, advertised or listed anywhere in Billboard. Indeed, mention of the Blaze label itself could not be found in Billboard.
Per Galen Gart's ARLD, Blaze was owned by William Moore. Was this a relative of Johnny Moore? Surely there is a connection between "Blazers" and "Blaze." If anyone can shed more light on the Blaze label, please send an email.
Links to other Johnny Moore's Blazers' records at this website by label: Exclusive Aladdin Hollywood
NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.
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Listen to this week's selection featuring Johnny Moore's Blazers on Blaze 101A from 1954:
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Johnny Moore's Three Blazers
California Eagle 2/6/47
At Right: Johnny Moore's 3 Blazers
(all four of them)
From Cleveland Call And Post 7/10/48
(Provided by Richard Koloda)
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