Thursday, March 25, 2010

Buried Treasure: Do You Remember Tim Moore?

Obscurity claims another victim. For the second installment of Scott Parker's Forgotten Music let's take a look at Philadelphia's Tim Moore. He has been totally forgotten in his home town and was never known enough anywhere else in North America to have even achieved forgotten status. Isn't it true that to be forgotten someone had to know who you were in the first place?

Here at home, Moore was best known for a song Art Garfunkel also turned into a minor hit, the moving ballad, "Second Avenue." Unfortunately, except in Philadelphia, Garfunkel's version did better on the charts and on the radio. To this day Moore's version remains one of my all-time favorite breakup songs.

Early on, Moore was the drummer for a local Philadelphia band, Woody's Truck Stop, featuring Todd Rundgren. Later, believe it or not, Frank Zappa became a fan and wanted to produce the rather conventional rocker and singer-songwriter. However, when the avant-garde composer didn't have the time to follow through with it, Moore left New York City and went to work for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff back in Philadelphia. He then recorded one album with Daryl Hall in a band called Gulliver before John Oates came along.

Soon Moore's songwriting attracted enough attention to secure a record deal with Asylum. The multi-instrumentalist played almost everything himself on his 1974 eponymous debut album. The record contains some really good stuff: "A Fool Like You," "When You Close Your Eyes," "Charmer," and "Second Avenue."

Three more LPs soon followed. Moore composed "Rock 'n Roll Love Letter," a song The Bay City Rollers turned into a hit for his second disc, Behind The Lines. Don't let the The Rollers connection fool you. Moore's version really rocked. His third, White Shadows, was recorded in Los Angeles in 1977 with help from Bill Payne of Little Feat, Timothy B. Schmidt, drummer Jeff Porcaro, David Foster, and Michael McDonald. High Contrast followed two years later. None achieved even a modicum of success before he disappeared from the music scene.

In 1985 Moore recorded one more album, Flash Forward, and a song from it, "Yes," became a giant hit in both Brazil and Portugal in the late 80s. This resulted in a long tour of The South American country after the song went to the top of the charts. Meanwhile, Moore remained a non-entity in the United States where the CD is available only as an expensive import.

Here are the original versions of the upbeat "Charmer," the ballad "A Fool Like You," and the beautiful "Second Avenue."

Finally, here is a Portugese video of "Yes" sung in English.


  1. Never heard of this dude, but he's good!

  2. Thanks for sharing Charlie. Philly is certainly one of the more musical cities in the US... and it seems for all those artists/musicians who made it big and made names for themselves nationally there are guys like Tim Moore whose success was either regional or massive outside the US but ignored within.

  3. I never heard of Tim Moore, either, but Evan's right: he's good. Love "Yes"!

  4. I'm with the other three: never heard of Tim Moore at all. Listened to the tunes you referenced. The older I get, the more I realize the 70s had some fantastic music. What I like about 70s music is the way it can bring nostalgia to me. While I don't know these songs, the nostalgia is running high.

    Oh, and the Bay. City. Rollers! Yeah, baby.

  5. Oh, "Second Avenue." Moore's version is one of my all-time favorite recordings, any genre. He's one of those whose stories make you wonder why. Nice post.

  6. Does anybody know where to download the self-titled album? I can't find it anywhere...