Merrill Moore is considered by some one of the unsung godfathers of rockabilly piano. Adept at everything from standards to boogie woogie, jazz, blues, and country, he was cited as an influence by Jerry Lee Lewis and others.
Born in Iowa, he later relocated to San Diego and played with locals like guitarist Arkie Geurin, eventually landing a steady gig at the Buckaroo Club. In 1952, he signed with Capitol Records and recorded a string of singles, including 1953's "The House of Blue Lights." He was unable to tour in support of the record when the Buckaroo Club owner refused to let him out of his residency.
Moore continued to record for Capitol until moving to Los Angeles in 1955 to work for the label as a session pianist, recording with Tommy Sands, Johnny Cash, Faron Young, Kay Starr and others. He moved back to San Diego in 1962 and returned to playing hotels and clubs, including a long residency at Mr A's . He passed away from cancer in June 2000 at the age of 76.