Blues Search Engine

Ironing Board Sam

Ironing Board Sam

Ironing Board Blues

Ironing Board Sam was born Sammie Moore in 1939 in Rockhill, South Carolina. He spent a year and a half in college but had to drop out after he got married. Ironing Board Sam learned to play on his father's pump organ and joined several groups around the area as a teenager. His initial professional job was with Robert "Nature Boy" Montgomery, a blues singer and harmonica player who worked out of Miami. Ironing Board Sam's confidence grew to the point where he formed his own group and worked small clubs around South Florida. In 1959, he moved to Memphis, where he picked up his colorful "nom de disque". Ironing Board Sam didn't have the regular legs to support his electric keyboard, so he improvised and used an ironing board stand, which he hid with a drape. Club patrons began looking behind the drape and teasing Ironing Board Sam about the ironing board. He didn't like it at first, but he was tagged Ironing Board Sam, and the name stuck. One of the clubs where he regularly played even gave away a free ironing board on the nights he appeared. In the mid-1960s Ironing Board Sam tried to audition for both the Stax and Hi labels, but was told they had more than enough artists to work with and to try somewhere else. It was Hi's Willie Mitchell who suggested Ironing Board Sam try Chess in Chicago. Ironing Board Sam played around Chicago for about a year before Earl Hooker got him a lucrative gig at Jimmy Hunt's Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa. After a year and a half in Waterloo, Sam moved to Los Angeles for five years before returning to Memphis in 1973. Along the way be managed to cut 45 singles for Atlantic, Styletone, Holiday Inn and his own Board label, but nothing caught the public's attention. A year later, Ironing Board Sam's journeys took him to New Orleans, where he got a regular gig at Mason's V.I.P. Lounge on South Claiborne Avenue, then the top black night spot in town. Ironing Board Sam cut another single in the late 1970s for Sansu, but he found the era generally rather frustrating. By 1982, Ironing Board Sam was back in New Orleans but still finding it hard to find work. Ironing Board Sam busked in the streets in the French Quarter for several months when fate stepped in. The producers of the television program Real People saw Sam and shot a feature on him that aired nationally. In the interim the police arrested Sam on a noise violation, which took him off the streets and cost him $12. The attention from Real People got him some out-of-town dates and helped him get back into some New Orleans clubs. By the late 1980s, Ironing Board Sam was playing Bourbon Street clubs. By the early 1990s, Ironing Board Sam had made his first tour of Europe. He also cut an album's worth of material for then-Fats Domino manager Bob Vernon, a session that hasn't yet been issued. He auditioned in 1991 for Orleans Records, arranged by Kerry Brown. The session was cut in less than 90 minutes, with Ironing Board Sam's vocals supported only by a vintage Wurlitzer piano. The audition tape has been issued as The Human Touch. Despite the sparse instrumentation and short recording time, Sam is extremely pleased with the results. (Quoted from Ironing Board Blues by Jeff Hannusch)

Visit also these related Sites:

Biographical Information on Ironing Board Sam

Various Articles on Ironing Board Sam

Reviews and Critiques of Ironing Board Sam Live Performances and Recordings

Ironing Board Sam Discographies

Ironing Board Sam Photos

Do you miss an important site? Anything wrong?
Is there any broken link? Please email us!