Interview – Larry Moore
Bruce Kimmel: Hello, Larry Moore, famous orchestrator and man-about-town. Welcome to haineshisway.com and our Unseemly Interview. We here at haineshisway.com like to start at the very beginning, which is, after all, a very good place to start. So, where does Larry Moore hail from? Tell us about your childhood.
Larry Moore: It was very white trash, lower middleclass, in Middletown, Ohio, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati. My father was from Appalachian Kentucky and his brother had moved to Ohio and married my mother’s sister’s sister-in-law. My father visited Ohio on leave during WW 2, met my mother, they married in 1944 and I was conceived in New Orleans in late 1945. I was born in Sept 1946. I have two younger brothers, and my mother’s family was quite musical: my grandfather worked on violins and played one, my Aunt Dorothy played piano, Aunt Lois sang, my mother and Uncle Paul played trumpet; my Uncle Bob also dated one of the McGuire Sisters in high school. My brother Tom played trumpet, euphonium through high school, got into rock bands with his guitar, and now he’s married to a bluegrass singer and they do gigs around Middletown, often with her father who’s a really good bluegrass guitarist. I suffered through school, hated most of it, and I’d like to say I was too mentally advanced for ordinary curriculum, but I most likely preferred to go my own way and pursue my own interests, which in my years between 12 and 18 were primarily art, Greek mythology, dinosaurs, fantasy films, and classical music. The first musical film I recall was “The King and I,” which we saw in 1956 on a business trip to Kansas City, and I was hooked. I remember getting the Capitol soundtrack and playing it to death, and I think the next album was “My Fair Lady.” When I was in 8th grade, my school did “Knickerbocker Hiliday” and I was hooked. I can still sing all the score; I wasn’t in it, but my chorus teacher used the chorus periods to drill the show’s chorus, so I learned it all while I used the class as a study hall. The next year, I was in the chorus of “Where’s Charley?,” and in high school, I was in “The New Moon” and “The King and I.” I saw the school’s “South Pacific,” but I wasn’t in it.I went to Miami University as a pre-med major, which had been programmed into me from the day after my birth, went into Classics after one day of school since I liked Latin a lot, and in my junior year I was in “Threepenny Opera,” and “Babes in Arms.” I switched to theatre, maybe gave a couple of good performance in Pinter’s “The Birthday Party” and Anouilh’s “Thieves’ Carnival,” but I mostly wanted to write musicals. I did a lot of theatre scoring, wrote for an underground theatre group (this was 1968) called Spotley Productions, protested the Viet Nam war with some street theatre, and wrote a thesis to finish my M.A. degree. I taught (badly) for a year and realized that academic theatre was not what I wanted. So, I ran home to Mom and Dad, to their dismay, to rethink my life. I did community theatre, acted for a dinner theatre, played in and wrote for a community symphony, and supported myself driving – and wrecking – a delivery van for an office supplies company. In 1979, I decided to move to New York and see what would happen professionally. Here I am! Voila!
BK: So, you, Larry Moore, were interested in musicals. Were you also interested in other types of music? Tell us things
LM: I was a real smart cookie as a child, and I was reading by the age of three. Here’s a digression: my first two years of childhood were spent in my maternal grandfather’s home; I was the only grandchild at that point, and I lived there with my parents, my grandparents, my Aunt Dorothy, and my uncles Paul and Bob who were high school jocks. I was coddled, read to, sung to, rocked to sleep, and cared for by a house full of saints. I remember being passed like a football among my uncles’ high school teammates. This was a fantastic and mentally stimulating period, and I think I was encouraged to learn young. So, I learned to read early, and I learned to read record labels! One of the family parlor games was to have me pull records. My favorite was “The Sabre Dance.” I remember late 40s and early 50s songs fondly: “Good Night Irene” by the Weavers would cause me to burst into tears, and I still cry over “The Wayward Wind.” Curse you, Gogi Grant! I mostly liked classical, especially Tchaikovsky, and I was mad for Disney cartoon and their songs. My favorite Disney film is still “Alice in Wonderland” and that strange score. I had a Litle Golden Record of “Painting the Roses Red,” which I loved, but I also was crazy about “Cinderella,” which I first saw at the Paramount Theatre in 1950(?).
BK: When did you actively begin studying music? In high school? College? And at what point did you make the decision to be an orchestrator and, more importantly, why did you make the decision?
LM: I had a great high school music teacher, Helen Weinberger, and I was a good choral student, even though I never learned to play piano well, with a good ear and a real interest in music. About once or twice a term, Miss Weinberger would tell our class that she was making a trip to Willis Music in Cincinnati and would any of us like her to pick up some music. Through her, I got a vocal score to Bernstein’s “Candide,” which is still the most amazingly clever score to me, and my first purchase from her was a miniature score to the Nutcracker Suite. This was my first knowledge of transposing instruments and I was fascinated by the fact that clarinets, horns, trumpets played in different keys! This was all new and very puzzling and I had to learn about it. So, orchestration became the alternate to my art work; I put down colored pencils and crayons and studied orchestral scores, mostly because I saw orchestration as another art form. In college, I went through a whole shebang of musical theory electives, read everything from Francis Collinson’s “Orchestration for the Theatre,” which I found in the Cincinnati Public Library, to Glenn Miller’s book on scoring for dance band, wrote some good to grisly music and decided I was a good parodist but not a good composer on my own terms. I never wanted to conduct, even though I did a ton of it in college, mostly as a piano-conductor, but I liked to orchestrate. Between 1973 and 1979, when my parents were praying I’d leave home, I was lucky to have a good friend who conducted a community symphony. If I scored a number and copied parts, I’d get a reading, which is often more than I’d get in a real orchestration class in a smaller college. I learned a lot, from copy problems like bad page turns and poor penmanship to smart things like why you’ll never hear a low flute over a brass section without good miking.
BK: At what point did you move to New York, and did you move there specifically to seek out a career as a theater music orchestrator?
LM: I came the last week of June, 1979, to direct a showcase that never happened. The third day I was in New York, I was hired by The Drama Book Shop, with whom I worked on and off for around 15 years as a buyer, and after 6 months of relying on various friends’ charity, I found an apartment on West 94th Street. One of my co-workers was a good composer, a friend of Steve Sondheim’s, and I played for him a couple of my orchestrations. One day, on lunch, we ran into a Drama Book Shop regular who said he was working with a new company and they were looking for an orchestrator. My friend pointed to me and said “Hire him.” The next day, Bill Tynes the producer called me, we talked about shows we loved, and he hired me without having heard a single note of my work. The company was The New Amsterdam Theatre Company, which sadly never got the critical clout that Encores! did, and I worked with them from 1981 to 1986, when Bill died of AIDS. He was one of the best, and I still miss the fact that he never heard the complete “Showboat” recording, that I can’t call him and dish about some “period musical” disaster or success. One of my last jobs for Bill was a restoration of Cole Porter’s “Jubilee,” which he wanted to produce as a full-scale revival. When I went to London for the BBC Radio- Lost Musicals performances of”Jubilee,” I wore the argyle socks Bill gave me for Christmas the year he died.
BK: Tell us how you went about trying to get people to notice you and tell us what some of your first jobs were.
LM: Working with The New Amsterdam Theatre Company was great. Every show got reviewed, mostly by the New York Post and Daily News, and I got some good notices. I was working on “Rosalie” by Sigmund romberg and George Gershwin, and I met John McGlinn who had been doing some work for Ira. John got a recording with Book-of-the-Month Club,” Songs of New York,” and he called me since he need an orchestrator. He’d worked with Hans Spialek on the “On your Toes” revival, Hans had died, and I was the only orchestrator he knew at that point. I’d also become the staff arranger for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus through a trio of singers from the Chorus who had formed an act “Just Good Friends.” I was their vocal arranger and Muscial Director, and the MD for the Men’s Chorus liked my work. Bill Zakariasan reviewed a holiday concert at Carnegie Hall for the Men’s Chorus and called me “the cleverest arranger in New York.” I bought 20 copies of the newspaper.
BK: Before we go any further, people are generally confused by what an orchestrator does and what an arranger does. For example, I will, a lot of the time, do the arrangements on songs and you will orchestrate said arrangements. Tell us exactly what your job as orchestrator entails, and tell us some of your thought processes that go into your orchestrating choices.
LM: Oh, God, after all the easy ones, this is difficult! I think the best thing to say is that the arranger determines how you hear a number and the orchestrator colors it in. I’ve had jobs, mostly on albums and “period” musicals, where I’m given a copy of the piano-vocal, the key it will be sung in, and all I have to do is turn the piano sound into an orchestral sound. I’ve had jobs where I had to turn a guitar or vocal lead sheet into a piano arrangement before I can even think about the orchestral problems. With you, it was great because you often gave me great leeway to pursue my own choices, and sometimes during a listen of a rehearsal with a singer, you’d do vocal scats that gave me ideas of what you were hearing.
A lot of it depended on what the album was. With the “Lost in Boston” series, I wanted the songs to sound, as much as I could do it, like the shows they came from, so I’d check out orchestration lists, try to duplicate the instrumentation for each number, listen to the cast albums a lot to try to assimilate the things that I thought the show sounded like (“Ballroom” to me sounds like flutes, so I tried to get some of that into Karen Morrow’s songs). With the solo albums, I’d sort of follow my own instincts about what the arrangements by Patrick, Alex, Tom said to me, and I’d score them to the best of my ability. I try to look for some psychological subtext to a song so it’s not just a “number,” but it means something to me emotionally, whether or not the singer knows or cares: to me, Rebecca Luker’s “Night and Day” is about sexual obsession, almost to a deranged state, and I tried to push it there but not over the top; Judy Kuhn told Michael Skloff that “Long Before I Knew You” was a lady sitting in a bar, but I decided it was a lady looking out a window at 5 am after a sleepless night wondering why it had turned to hell; I decided that the subtext of Jason’s “It Would Have Been Wonderful” was anger, although I didn’t realize it until we were in the recording session!
BK: Do you remember how we met? I believe you wrote me a letter while I was at Bay Cities? Tell our dear readers about that.
LM: I actually called you after I read the interview with you in Fanfare Magazine. I had been a fan since seeing “The First Nudie Musical” in 1979, and I read the interview during a down period in my life. I had been fired from a project and I spent a couple of years licking my wounds and wondering if the phone would ever ring again. The interview was great, as I recall, and I thought, I’m a fan of Bruce Kimmel, and if nothing else, I might get a chance to tell him that. My memory is that you actually answered the phone! But we spoke briefly, and you told me to send a letter and tape, which I did. My memory is that a long time elapsed, but you called and said you wanted to do an album with Liz Callaway, and if she and I got along, I had a job. She and I met at the diner across from the Broadway Theatre while she was doing “Miss Saigon,” we had dinner and decided we were a fantastic team, and that Alex Rybeck would be a good choice as well, but Liz had already asked whats-his-face who did the Irving Berlin show with her to do the arrangements, but then Bay Cities fell apart and the project was dormant for a while.
BK: Before we get to our first albums together, tell us what it was like working with John McGlinn and tell us what has happened to his Kern project.
LM: I would like to, but I can’t! Let’s just say that Maestro McGlinn and the project have parted company and John is off to other venues.
BK: Okay, so I move to Varese Sarabande and one fine day I ask you to orchestrate my first two albums, Unsung Sondheim and Liz Callaway’s Frank Loesser album. Now, we were all pretty much flying blind at that time – I hadn’t really done any multi-track recording before and neither had you. Tell us about our voyage of discovery and any funny stories you remember about the process on those two albums.
LM: We were flying blind! I was convinced you’d sack me by the end of the session because I was still treading lightly from my being fired from the Roxbury Gershwin project and because I didn’t know how you’d like what you finally heard. I was sort of operating under the theory that I could always fix it in the studio, but this whole multi-track thing still boggles me. I remember meeting you for the first time in rehearsal with Liz and Alex and how much fun that whole rehearsal process was, from the Bacharach “Joey Joey” and you raving how much you liked Bacharach, to my pushing in and telling Liz and Alex that “My Heart Is so Full of you” had to be the Adagio of the album, and how happy I was with what it became. Do you remember the thrill when all the instuments landed on that big ending of “How to Succeed”? We were all just jumping around, so excited by it. Of course I remember that the rhythm track session lasted for several decades and we staggered out at 1 am? 2 am? in shock, and how great Ron and Mark were to put up with the madness. I remember what good sports the strings were was well, but you were smart to increase the size for later recordings; Nick and Ted were saints and stayed for many, but Michele was a problem. I also remember having to fire our trombonist, and how fantastic the replacement was. Then we got Randy Andos, and he and Dave Rogers will always be my first choice for any job I have. I remember you turning and saying “we’re in the toilet! we’re in the toilet!”
BK: Jim Stenborg was the musical director of Unsung Sondheim. Jim is very talented, but a bit of a trial to work with. What’s the difference between someone like him and someone like Alex Rybeck?
LM: I recommended Jim, because I knew he’d worked on “Sweeney Todd” and the “Pacific Overtures” revival, and I knew he wanted to get some more MD credits. Alex thinks faster on his feet, and he’s a much better arranger. Jim has a fantastic ear for transcription, plays great piano, does great Finale work, but he’s a better coach than musical director. I’ve worked with another conductor in town (not for you) who’s a fantastic conductor, able to turn anything into musical magic, but he wants to arrange and he’s awful at it. Sometimes you get a Leonard Bernstein who can do anything, and sometimes you get a person who has to decide what he’s best at and stay with it.
BK: In those days, you used to come out to LA for the mix. In those days, again I was just discovering how to do this stuff, as were you and as was Vinnie. I remember it used to get pretty wild in the mixing room because I could not be articulate about what I wanted (until I heard it – then I just knew it was right), and you were sitting back there with your scores trying to hear every instrument on every line – it was crazy and what today takes hours used to take days. What are some of your memories of that time?
LM: Well, you were the boss, you’d piss me off and I’d quit! I remember walking out of some studio, going back to the motel and packing my bags and thinking, well, now what do I do, so I went back to the studio, and all you said was, “don’t let your lunch get cold.” That’s when I realized how much I loved you! I quit at some point on almost every album, and I think we were two people who cared so much we butted heads constantly. I remember the one studio with the very large lady and your battle with her when everything crashed and we lost almost a day’s work. You were raving at her! I just remember your justifiable anger over the time and money lost. I remember how wonderful some of the Los Angeles singers were, especially Michele Nicastro and Marsha Kramer. I remember gossiping with Kaye Ballard about Leonard Bernstein and Harold Lang between takes on Jason’s album. I remember seeing “Ruthless” with you and raving about Lindsay. My only mixing sessions before these was for crazy Ben Bagley’s Painted Smiles albums, and he was so cheap that he figured any wrong notes could simply be removed in the mix, so all his mixing sessions were interesting as 3 or 4-note chords suddenly turned into solo lines for one bar. He was a lot of fun socially, but his later albums had no art. So when we were mixing in Los Angeles, and I first met Vinny, I didn’t realize I was driving him crazy with comments like “where’s the harp?” You finally had to keep me out of the room until Vinny had a mix down for me to listen to and comment on. Of the first Unsung Sondheim, I remember the thrill of the final mix of “Saturday Night” with all that conterpoint between the boys and the band coming through those huge speakers. One of my sickest memories is auditioning that untalented trio of ladies and trying to teach them the backup to “One Boy.” Oh, boy! Where did you find them? I remember asking if any of them had a high C, and the one who claimed she did was misinformed. They didn’t last long, thank God, but it sure wasted several hours. But didn’t they replace a blind backup singer in New York? How could she read music? Anyway, your assistant Mauri Bernstein brought in Ilysia Pierce, and she learned and recorded all three parts in, what, an hour? Do you ever hear from Mauri? You always had neat assistants.
BK: Okay, let’s talk about Lost in Boston and Unsung Musicals. I believe, if memory serves, we did all these at the same time – for sure we did LIB I and 2 back to back, both with Jim Stenborg, and Unsung with Tom Fay. What are your memories of those albums? Tell us about trying to be true to the original sound of the shows we were doing.
LM: I never thought I’d live to see them done! I was exhausted. I love Tom Fay, but I have next to no recollection of the sessions except for Sue Panny’s great horn on the “Starfish” Interlude, and how happy I was with the dixieland arrangement for “Ragtime Romeo.” I remember that there was some virus going around all the Broadway shows at the time and everyone singing seemed to have a vocal problem. Also, I was scoring the two LIBs on paper and Jim was copying them, but I was doing all of Unsung Musicals in short score and parts by hand, so I was always just one day ahead of the next session: while you were recording the strings, I was writing the brass and wind parts. My favorite day was always the harp and toys day because I had a free day to sleep and catch up. There are some great things in Unsung Musicals that were flukes: the Mariachi trumpets in “Silverware,” your offhand comment about the Sally Mayes’ “In the Name of Love” being a Fellini number which gave me the idea for the sound, and how hearing “Disneyland” and “New Words” in rehearsal moved me.With “Lost In Boston,” since all these shows had cast albums, it was a game to match the sound with the original sound, and I feel the two that never made it to the standards of the originals were the “Fantasticks” song and the “West Side Story” trio for the Jets: with Harvey and Tom’s song. I never got the piano-harp balance right, and the Bernstein, while I like it, doesn’t sound enough like Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal to me. I like the sewing machine effect in Emily’s song, and “If You Leave Me Now” is an example of where I scored the ending that Jim gave me, but it needed a better tag. With “Multitudes of Amys” I overrode him and gave him an ending, but I think I was so tired trying to do three albums at once I didn’t even stop to think until it was already in the can. The most successful is “Tick Tock goes the Clock” and I think it’s great because you, Alex and I were in total Bacharach heaven!
BK: Of all the albums we’ve done together (and there are really quite a few) which are your favorites, which do you wish you could go back and change, and why?
LM: Boy, we did a helluva lot! But I owe you my career, and I don’t thank you enough for that.
Liz’s Frank Loesser, Lost in Boston 1, Unsung Musicals, Liz’s Broadway album, Jason’s, and Broadway Bound.
My least faves:
Sally Mayes’ Comden and Green: my mother had just died, Sally can be difficult, and I didn’t finish in time so we had to add a session; I’ll never forget my embarassment at calling to you tell you there was going to be a short session the next day because I wouldn’t be ready.
Judy Kuhn: I liked working with Michael Skloff a lot, but I’m still not sure I was the right man for that album. And you know, Judy never acknowledged me, but I never felt close to her the way I feel about Liz, or Rebecca Luker, Emily Loesser or Lynnette Perry.
Lost in Boston 2: it’s got tracks I like a lot, but it’s not conducted as well as it could have been, and I think there’s some bad casting and some some really bad work from me; I don’t know if it’s the orchestration, the conducting, or the casting that puts the final nail in the hard driving “Italy In Technicolor” but I really can’t stand it!
There are tracks I’d like to reorchestrate on every album, and I’d really love to redo some of Sondheim at the Movies and Unsung Sondheim, which I listened to recently.
BK: As you know, as a producer (and sometimes arranger), I don’t hear the orchestration until we actually come into the studio and record it. I’m very particular about drum sounds and also in what I like to hear – and sometimes we clash, or sometimes I will ask you to think about changing an instrument, which you are always a good sport about. Two situations I particularly remember with fondness are both from Sondheim at the Movies. On Mr. Guy Haines’ version of What Can You Lose? you’d written the instrumental section to feature a sax lead. When I heard it I just didn’t think it worked (part of that could have been our reed player – you-know-who), I wanted something more contemporary-sounding. We finally gave it to Kevin Kuhn, who did the most beautiful guitar solo, and it was as if that’s the only way it should ever have been done. And the same with Christianne Noll’s Sand – where we took out the lead instrument from the instrumental – and we were sitting there trying to figure out what it should be and I said I’d love a theremin. Christianne said, “I can do a theremin” and she just went in and did it and it was perfection. So, the long-winded question is: How do you deal with strong-willed producers, conductors, singers – is it awkward, do you hate that process, do you like the give-and-take, tell us everything, hold nothing back.
LM: You know I behave badly! I like collaborating a lot, but I can be very difficult, mostly because I find it easier to say no until I’ve figured out how to say yes. I loved working on the earlier albums the most, since we were all working closely together. As your catalogue and schedule of recordings increased, I often didn’t get involved until late in the game, sometimes never heard the singers until they were in the studio with the charts, and a lot of the fun got lost. You often in rehearsal told me things about the numbers that you probably were never aware of, from instrumental licks to approach to offhand comments that got my imagination going. Sometimes you’d say, is this one gonna go boop-boop-de-doo-de-doo and scat something and I’d look at you and say I don’t know yet, but i’d file it away. The things I hated on later albums were finding out in the studio that we were on different wave lengths about an approach to a number – I remember you saying on a Peter Pan song – is that what it’s going to sound like? – because I didn’t know remotely what you had in mind!The thing I loved about working with you is your creativity, your imagination and energy; Christianne’s theremin was perfect, as was Kevin’s guitar, and if they make the song and album look good, it reflects on all of us.
I wish we had had less budget concerns to play a bit more in the studio.
BK: You’ve done a lot of restorations of old musicals. Tell us how that works – from beginning to end, and tell us some of the ones you’ve done, including your marvelous work on Mr. Cole Porter’s Jubilee.
LM: It’s like an archeological dig. I usually start at the NYPL Theatre Collection, reading the reviews and clippings on a show for clues about dances, staging of numbers, effects, how something was sung. Programs and photos are important for visual info on chorus size, costumes, musical staging. After all of this, along with the script, you lay out your musical sequence and consider the year the show was performed and what other shows were going on. With “Jubilee,” I decided that it was just one more musical for 1935 and that I should be looking at everything between “Girl Crazy” (1930) to “Oklahoma! (1942) since the creators of “Oklahoma!” were just doing another musical, and there were things to learn in each: what modulations were used by the orchestrators, vocal ranges, how much choral writing and dance music was used. I also felt it was important not to give away too much info, like I should never know that “Begin the Beguine” or “Just One of Those Things” were BIG Cole Porter songs and treat them as two more songs in a show. For the sound of “Jubilee,” it was clearly set in 1935, but I felt it needed to sound very sophisticated and not like a 1930s dance band. John McGlinn once mentioned how much Porter liked Ravel, so I thought it should sound like Ravel, Gilbert & Sullivan, Elgar, and a 1935 dance band, but I also wanted it to sound, as much as I could, like Russell Bennett, who scored the original. With “Jubilee,” I had to create a vocal score from scratch using the Porter manuscripts and filling in what needed to be done, from scene changes to dance music, from Overture to Entr’Acte to Exit March. After all that, the scoring was a breeze.In 2002, I restored Rodgers & Hart’s “Dearest Enemy” from 1925, and I kept handy at all times the vocal scores to “Rose-Marie,” “Vagabond King,” “No No Nanette,” “The New Moon,” and “The Desert Song.” Things needed to be written and added to the tiny Century Play 12-piece scoring, and contemporary shows were the only means of finding a model. I asked Bruce Pomahac to do some incidental music for the Act Two Finale, I wrote a fanfare for George Washington. It was fun.
BK: You’ve done a few albums for Mr. John Yap. Is it different doing those or is it a similar process?
LM: With John, I usually get a phone call from London saying “Score such-and-such in the key of A for whomever,” I score it, send it off, and a year later find it’s in the stores, buy it, and think I could have fixed it if I’d heard a rough mix! On Matt Bogart’s album and Sean McDermott’s, I actually got to work with them here, and I think that’s why I’m happy with the work more than some of the others. Caroline O’Connor was a happy experience as well, and she’s a wonderful lady.
BK: Why do you think the Broadway orchestrators is such a closed shop. It seems almost impossible for new people to break in – unless the songwriters insist and bring their own orchestrator with them. I’ve never understood how you haven’t gotten that break.
LM: I was born 30 years too late! I think it’s the economics of Broadway these days. There are so few shows happening that everyone’s looking for work. In 1970, there were a lot more shows getting done, and I think I would have built up a list of credits ghosting for others that would have eventually led to my getting a show. This year there are so few, and the ones with the track records and the Tony nominations get the calls. I was up for “Triumph of Love” when it first started out, and Margo Lion refused to see me or interview me even though Jeff Stock wanted me. When Patrick Brady finally called me, I was busy with Encores! “The Boys from Syracuse.” Then Charlie Harmon of the Bernstein Office asked me to do “On the Town” in Central Park, I was busy with something else, so I suggested Bruce Coughlin, who met Margo Lion through George Wolfe, and did “Triumph of Love”! Charlie Harmon asked me to do “Candide” at the National Theatre in London, and Harry Kraut hired Bruce Coughlin to do the job while Charlie was on vacation. While I was at Goodspeed doing Harvey and Tom’s “Mirette,” Tony Walton told me that the “Annie Get Your Gun” revival was looking for an orchestrator. I called John McDaniel several times from Goodspeed about the job, but John hired Bruce Coughlin! Is there a thread here?
BK: So, tell us what you, Larry Moore, are up to now?
LM: Well, I can’t talk about the Kern project, but I’m still working on it, since there are editorial things to be done. Tony Walton’s aked me to do “Where’s Charley?”(my first show from junior high) with him at Goodspeed this summer, and I’m very excited about that. I did some work on Kay Swift’s 1930 show “Fine and Dandy” which PS Classics is recording.
BK: Before we leave, I want you to tell our dear readers about some of our madcap escapades – those times when you were sitting in the studio as we were recording, copying, finishing up orchestrations, etc. Why is it always that way?
LM: I like the term madcap escapades! Do you remember the time we were driving out to the studio (Captain & Tenille) on Jason Graae’s album and we found out later we’d driven through a mild earthquake?
I was always finishing up late because there was never any money in the budget to provide a copyist! I never knew how Lanny did it because he always had John and/or Bonnie copying for him and I always needed every cent you paid me! I also procrastinate. I’m not waiting for the muse to land and inspire me, but often decisions come late, sometimes singers change along with their keys, sometimes you have absolutely no idea what the hell you’re going to do with a number so it’s easier to lie down, listen to something else and not think about it. With “Take It In Your Stride,” I was so burned out, I had no idea at all, so I lay down and listened to “Kiss Me Kate.” I owe it all to “Always True to You In My Fashion.”
BK: Well, you’ve been an absolutely sparkling guest, Mr. Larry Moore, and we salute you with our beverage of choice, Diet Coke. Do you have any last words for our dear readers?
LM: Yes, Bruce, you need another record company! I owe you so much of my career, paltry as it is, and I love you! You are a genius in every sense of the word, and I’m still one of your biggest fans.
For more information about Larry Moore, visit him online at Larry Moore’s Bio on YRMUSIC.COM.