SoulTracks 3 Minute Update: Catch up with the great Melba Moore

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    3 Minute Update is the newest SoulTracks feature. It is designed to give classic soul fans a chance to catch up with what’s going on with their favorite soul music artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s. All in three minutes. Our latest in the series is a 3 minute update on: Melba Moore. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and hit us up with your suggestions of future 3 Minute Updates by using the "Contact Us" button below.

    One of the most talented and versatile performers of the last half century, Melba Moore has carved an impressive legacy on Broadway, television and radio. 

    3 Minute Update is the newest SoulTracks feature. It is designed to give classic soul fans a chance to catch up with what’s going on with their favorite soul music artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s. All in three minutes. Our latest in the series is a 3 minute update on: Melba Moore. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and hit us up with your suggestions of future 3 Minute Updates by using the "Contact Us" button below.

    One of the most talented and versatile performers of the last half century, Melba Moore has carved an impressive legacy on Broadway, television and radio. 

    A unique combination of beauty and talent, Moore had her big break when she was offered a leading role in the Broadway production of the musical Hair.  She was superb in the role, and opened the door for a generation of African American females on Broadway.  Her performance in Hair resulted in other prime roles, including leads in Purlie (for which she won a Tony Award), Les Miserables, and Your Arm's Too Short to Box With God.

    Her national star certainly rose in the 70s, and she expanded her empire with the pioneering CBS Summer replacement series The Melba Moore Show and began a successful recording career with the hit "I Am His Lady." 

    But her career stalled due to lack of strong management and direction. Around this time, she met and married Charles Huggins, who became her manager and who, with her, formed Hush Productions, one of the most influential production companies of the next two decades. 

    Moore's career began to take off again with the disco boom of the late 70s. She landed a big hit with a cover of the Bee Gees' "You Stepped Into My Life" as well as McFadden & Whitehead's "Standing Right Here." Then, as the 80s emerged, Moore moved to a more sophisticated, adult sound on her recordings, landing her first #1, the great cut "Falling," along with the hit "Read My Lips" and the smash duet with Freddie Jackson, "A Little Bit More."

    A series of devastating personal and financial setbacks in the late 80s knocked Moore again out of the spotlight and the entertainment world. Her divorce from Huggins left her broke and with unfair whispers in the industry limiting her ability to move forward. She had to virtually start her career all over again. 

    Moore worked her way back singing in clubs, and private parties, and then back to stageplays. She also began recording again, landing with both Gospel records and an album of duets with Phil Perry that was a critical and commercial success, winning for her a SoulTracks Readers' Choice Award for Duo or Group of The Year.

    Over the past decade, Moore has recorded singles with some frequency, many of them dance oriented. She issued a full album, Forever Moore, in 2014, and in 2021 released her best single in more than a decade. "So In Love" was a classy midtempo that captured the aura of Moore's UAC smashes of the 80s. It found a welcoming audience around the world.

    As we enter 2022, Melba Moore is not slowing down. She has a new album, Imagine, that has received rave reviews, and she has already issued three terrific singles from it. In addition, Melba will be seen this year acting in the movie Trial By Fire.

    Now more than a half century into her incredible career, Melba Moore is still going strong. Be sure to see her if she comes to your town.

    By Chris Rizik

     
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