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Sam Moore, an 'Overnight Sensational'

ED GORDON, host:

I'm Ed Gordon, and this is NEWS AND NOTES.

(Soundbite of song, You Are So Beautiful)

Mr. SAM MOORE (Singer): (Singing) You are so beautiful...

GORDON: That's the great soul man Sam Moore singing You Are So Beautiful with the late Billy Preston. The remake is from Moore's latest album called Sam Moore: Overnight Sensational. The CD includes other collaborations with artists, including Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton. Of course, many remember Sam Moore as part of the great duo Sam and Dave. Moore and Dave Prater sang such classics as Hold On, I'm Coming and Soul Man. I first asked Moore about the CD title, Overnight Sensational, a great play on words for a man that's been in the business for five decades.

Mr. MOORE: You know what, I didn't come up with it. My wife came up with it. And when she first started talking about it, I started saying, well, anybody out of the Chicago would think of something like that. And she looked at me, she said, you know, you'd better stop.

GORDON: No, that's a great title. And, you know, what's really most poignant, obviously, about this CD, the late Billy Preston…

Mr. MOORE: Mmm.

GORDON: …is on it, and I guess it was his last recording.

Mr. MOORE: Mm-hmm. It was the last recording session that he had - that he did with me.

GORDON: Sam, what is it for you to have not just one signature song but two really that have stood the test of time, decade after decade, that you and your partner Dave made really iconic, and that's Hold on, I'm Coming and Soul Man, you know.

Mr. MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GORDON: Do you ever get tired of singing that song, or is it one of those things that you're just thankful that you have it?

Mr. MOORE: You're thankful. It's a blessing. And then after you think about it, you go, you know, I'm really tired of this. But, you know, at the end of the night after you've sung everything else - and I know it's going to happen with this album, regardless of what this album does - at the end of the night, Ed, I'm going to have to do those songs.

GORDON: Mm-hmm.

Mr. MOORE: People pay to hear that.

GORDON: Sam, what is it then for you to be able to carry on without David for so many years and still be able to - often when you see a duet lose one of its members, particularly members that were so evenly matched…

Mr. MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GORDON: …you know, the magic goes away. But for you it's been able to continue.

Mr. MOORE: I don't know, Ed. You know, it was also a blessing. Then it became an albatross around my neck because there are a lot of people even saying, well, you know, I like the album that you have done, I like all the people that you have had on there, but, you know, you don't have that Sam and Dave sound.

GORDON: Mm-hmm.

Mr. MOORE: And you're going, oh, man, let it go, leave it alone, you know, listen to what I'm saying here. I think in time it's going to - this is going to stop it, I think.

GORDON: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Sam, let me ask you this as relates to the music that you personify, and that's true hardcore R&B in the sense of what we grew up on, what was the infancy of R&B.

Mr. MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GORDON: Are you ever disappointed that black Americans are not embracing it historically as I think they should and perhaps we should just as a historical fact?

Mr. MOORE: I do get disappointed because there is so much good artistry around, and some of the things I hear and some of the things that I have seen on TV, Ed, I just turn away, and go, my God, what is going on here? It has been so demoralized and it's been so - I don't know, Ed, it's just - I don't know. I'm just disappointed, that's all.

GORDON: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Your voice, you're not a spring chicken in this industry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GORDON: You've been out there belting for a long time and that can bring some wear and tear on vocal cords…

Mr. MOORE: Oh, yeah.

GORDON: …and vocal abilities down the line. But you've not lost anything not just on recording…

Mr. MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GORDON: …but anyone who's seen you live knows that you still kick it out. What have you done? Have you - is it just a blessing from God or have you looked at that and taken care of your voice through the years?

Mr. MOORE: Two things: I'm blessed, and having faith that I can still do this. Because at once upon a time I lost that faith, Ed, because I knew I could do more than sing, you know, Soul Man and Hold On, I'm Coming, Something is Wrong. I knew I could do more than just that. I wanted to, you know, spread my wings.

I think I'm a frustrated golfer. I think you put those two together. I get out on the golf course and I hit the ball, and I go, well, maybe I should go back to singing, you know. But no, it's been a blessing.

GORDON: Well, as always, everything you touch, Sam, has been special. And this one - Sam Moore: Overnight Sensational - is a fantastic CD with classics like I Can't Stand the Rain, None of Us Are Free, and a duet with the late great Billy Preston, one of his great songs, You Are So Beautiful, and many, many more.

Sam, I just want to say, thank you for all that you've done throughout the years, but more importantly congratulations on this CD, so well deserved.

Mr. MOORE: Well, Ed, may I gush over you and say thank you and congratulations on your endeavors in everything too.

GORDON: Thanks, Sam.

(Soundbite of song, I Can't Stand the Rain)

Mr. MOORE: (Singing) I can't stand the rain…

GORDON: The new CD, Sam Moore: Overnight Sensational, is due in stores August 29.

(Soundbite of song, I Can't Stand the Rain)

Mr. MOORE: …bring back sweet memories. I can't stand the rain against my window because she's not here with me Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.