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
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)
Where is Ironing Board Sam's official website?
Please email us!
Ironing Board Sam's page at orleansrecords.com.
Visit also these related Sites:
Biographical Information on Ironing Board Sam
Ironing Board Sam biography by Jeff Hannusch.
Various Articles on Ironing Board Sam
Feel The Music At 930 Blues Cafe. Article by Chelsi West.
Article at heraldonline.com.
Article at stepfatherofsoul.blogspot.com.
Reviews and Critiques of Ironing Board Sam Live Performances and Recordings
Ironing Board Sam in Japan, July 25, 1996. Review at Blues Ginza.
Ironing Board Sam Discographies
Ironing Board Sam discography by Pete Hoppula.
Ironing Board Sam Photos
Several Ironing Board Sam photos by Michael Sheehan.
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