Clipped From The Cincinnati Enquirer
Singer Clyde Moody Proudest Of Track Record As Honest Man BY JOE EDWARDS Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn.-During Tenn.-During Tenn.-During a career that has spanned more than 50 years, country music singer singer Clyde Moody performed at the White House three times, wrote and recorded "Shenandoah Waltz" and wore out 21 Cadillacs driving irom snow to show. He's still performing at 68 and still sings in the same key. And as fie looks back on his career, Moody is proudest of his track record as an honest man. "I had 50 years of success, and I never knowingly hurt anybody," he said. "I've been considered a gentleman and was trusted. My father was part Indian, and I never learned how to lie and cheat. "I've never gone any place where I couldn't go back," Moody said, wearing one of his beloved Western suits. "I never mistreated anybody." HIS "SHENANDOAH Waltz" in 1948 earned him three trips to the White House to perform for President President Harry Truman. It was high cotton for a boy who left his North Carolina mountain home at age 14 to play guitar. Moody toured with a young Elvis Presley in 1955 and never drank a drop of alcohol despite spending so much of his time performing performing in nightclubs. He played with country music legends Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb and Bill Monroe, and by the middle middle of his career earned the reputation reputation of a rebel a kind of Willie Nelson of the '40s. He still does some shows with the 72-year-old 72-year-old 72-year-old 72-year-old 72-year-old Monroe, and after Moody received a lengthy standing standing ovation recently, Monroe said, "Well, I guess the old man's still got it." With little coaxing, the talkative talkative Moody will share his memories memories and relate how country music performers of his era differed from "these kids," as he calls the y CLYDE MOODY . . . still performing at 68 current generation of entertainers. entertainers. For one thing, he thinks the big concert fees today reflect a greedy spirit. His era was one of occasional lonely pockets. "LOTS OF times I didn't collect (accept) anything, on a bad day or something," he recalled. "I'd say to the promoter, 'Catch you on the next 'round.' " He often played his music in places far removed from the handsome, antiseptic 15,000-seat 15,000-seat 15,000-seat arenas of today and for much less money. "I've had people come in wagons with their mules, and they'd use lanterns for lights," he recalled. "Lots of times, you'd play In a school auditorium; you'd get 200 if you were lucky, and sometimes sometimes the crowd would spill out Into the school yard. It would cost 10 or 15 cents each." Just as Presley was getting started in music, the late singer's manager, Tom Parker, put him on a six-week six-week six-week tour with Moody. "He wanted him to get some exposure and to meet everybody," Moody said. "He was a nice kid. Moody got his start in 1934 singing on a Spartanburg, S.C., radio show sponsored by the Blue Front Liquor Stores. It turned out to be ironic because Moody never drank alcoholic beverages. "PEOPLE WONDER how I can be around alcohol so much and not drink. Well, when someone offers me a drink, I just say, "Let's sit down, and I'll have a cup of coffee,' " he said. Moody's specialty is waltz music, and he earned the title "the country and western waltz king." "Three-quarter "Three-quarter "Three-quarter music has always been a favorite of mine. Any place on earth, when you come to three-quarter three-quarter three-quarter music, the (dance) floor fills up," said Moody. In the 1940s, right in the middle of his thriving country music career, career, Moody fell out of favor with some fellow country performers when he added a trumpet and piano to his act. Those instruments instruments were not considered condu-cive condu-cive condu-cive to a genuine country music sound. "I wanted a country song with a Glenn Miller sound," Moody said. "Some people said I'd lost my mind." In the early days of television, he performed regularly on a 30-minute 30-minute 30-minute country music show from Constitution Hall in Washington. "THE TV screens then were only 6 inches wide; I weighed 215 and took up the whole screen," he said. These days, he still wears his Western suits and has a white cowboy hat with an Inscription on the inside band: "Like hell it's yours put it back." He cut a record this year, "California "California Dreams," which went to No. 62 in the Cashbox magazine country country music chart. "That's pretty good for a 68-year-old," 68-year-old," 68-year-old," 68-year-old," 68-year-old," Moody said.