Skip to main content

Rudy Ray Moore (March 17, 1927 – October 19, 2008)

Rudolph Frank Moore, known as Rudy Ray Moore, was an American comedian, musician, singer, film actor, and film producer. He was perhaps best known as Dolemite (the name derived from the mineral dolomite), the uniquely articulate pimp from the 1975 film Dolemite, and its sequels, The Human Tornado and The Return of Dolemite. The persona was developed during his earlier comedy records, for which Moore has been called "the Godfather of Rap".
Moore was born and raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and eventually moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and then Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, he preached in churches as well as worked as a nightclub dancer. He returned to Cleveland, working in clubs as a singer, dancer, and comedian, often appearing in character as Prince DuMarr. He joined the US Army and served in an entertainment unit in Germany, where he was nicknamed the Harlem Hillbilly for singing country songs in R&B style. He developed an interest in comedy in the Army after expanding on a singing performance for other servicemen.
After his discharge he lived in Seattle, Washington and then Los Angeles, where he continued to work in clubs and was discovered by record producer Dootsie Williams. He recorded rhythm and blues songs for the FederalCashBallKent and Imperial labels between 1955 and 1962, and released his first comedy albums, Below the Belt (1959), The Beatnik Scene (1962), and A Comedian Is Born (1964).
By his own account, he was working at a record store in Hollywood in 1970 when he began hearing obscene stories of "Dolemite" recounted by a local man named Rico. Moore began recording the stories, and assumed the role of "Dolemite" in his club act and on recordings. In 1970–71 he recorded three albums of material, Eat Out More OftenThis Pussy Belongs To Me, and The Dirty Dozens, where "with jazz and R&B musicians playing in the background, [Moore] would recite raunchy, sexually explicit rhymes that often had to do with pimps, prostitutes, players, and hustlers."
Moore was influenced by more mainstream comedians such as Red Foxx and Richard Pryor, as well as by traditions such as the Dozens. The recordings were usually made in Moore's own house, with friends in attendance to give a party atmosphere. The album covers and contents were often too racy to be put on display in record stores, but the records became popular through word of mouth and were highly successful in disadvantaged black American communities, where his "warped wit and anti-establishment outlook" were embraced.
Moore spent most of his earnings from the records to finance the movie Dolemite, which appeared in 1975 and has been described as "one of the great blaxploitation movies" of the 1970s. The character was "the ultimate ghetto hero: a bad dude, profane, skilled at kung-fu, dressed to kill and hell-bent on protecting the community from evil menaces. He was a pimp with a kung-fu-fighting clique of prostitutes and he was known for his sexual prowess."
The film was successful and was followed by sequels, The Human TornadoThe Monkey Hustle, and Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil's Son-in-Law. Moore continued to release albums that appealed to his enduring fanbase through the 1970s and 1980s, but little of his work reached the mainstream white audience. His "rapid-fire rhyming salaciousness exceeded the wildest excesses" of Foxx and Pryor, and his highly explicit style kept him off television and major films. At the same time, Moore often spoke in his church and regularly took his mother to the National Baptist Convention. He said that: "I wasn't saying dirty words just to say them... It was a form of art, sketches in which I developed ghetto characters who cursed. I don't want to be referred to as a dirty old man, rather a ghetto expressionist."
He came to be regarded as a major influence by many later rap stars. Snoop Dogg said: "Without Rudy Ray Moore, there would be no Snoop Dogg, and that's for real." Moore appeared on Big Daddy Kane's 1990 album Taste of Chocolate and 2 Live Crew's 1994 album Back at Your Ass for the Nine-4. On an episode of Martin titled "The Players Came Home," he appeared as himself in the Dolemite character. He also reprised his Dolemite character in an appearance on Snoop Dogg's 1999 album No Limit Top Dogg and Busta RhymesWhen Disaster Strikes... and Genesis.
In 2000, Moore starred in Big Money Hustlas, a movie created by and starring the hip hop group Insane Clown Posse, in which he played Dolemite for the first time in over 20 years. In 2006, Moore voice acted in the show Sons of Butcher, as Rudy in season 2. In 2008, he reprised the character Petey Wheatstraw on the song "I Live for the Funk," which featured Blowfly and Daniel Jordan. This marked the first time Blowfly and Rudy collaborated on the same record together—and the 30-year anniversary of the moviePetey Wheatstraw and was also the final recording Rudy made before his death.
On October 19, 2008, Moore died in Akron, Ohio, of complications from diabetes. He was never married; his mother, two brothers and one sister, daughter and grandchildren survived him.

Popular posts from this blog

Larry J. Malone Jr (Jauary 1, 1978)

I am a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Survivor. I was only 11 years old when I was struck down from the inside. I had just started the 6th grade at Scarbrough Middle School in Mobile, Alabama.I had been having worse than horrible migraines which were so bad and so painful until sometimes I'd pass out. I became forgetful and sometimes I'd be there but, I wouldn't be there. If you understand what I'm saying. The final straw came when my principal had to call my mom and tell her that I had passed out and no one knew what was wrong with me but, before I passed out I had been complaining that my head was hurting. My mom called my godmother Valerie Finley who was also my neighbor. She came and picked her up from her job and the two of them came to my school and picked me up and took me straight to the Emergency Room. When I got to the ER I had regained consciousness but, my head felt like it was about to explode. They ran all kinds of tests on me. They even tapped my spine. Tha…

Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham (1904-1981)

Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham was an African American entertainer. Though best known as a comedian, Markham was also a singer, dancer, and actor. His nickname came from a stage routine, in which he declared himself to be "Sweet Poppa Pigmeat". Dewey Pigmeat Markham was born April 18, 1904 in Durham, North Carolina. His family was the most prominent on their street, which was later officially renamed Markham Street. Running away from home in 1918, Markham began his career in traveling music and burlesque shows. He took up with a white showman he ambiguously referred to over the years as "Mr. Booker" owner of a "gilly carnival."  For a time he was a member of Bessie Smith's Traveling Revue in the 1920s and later appeared on burlesque bills with such comedy legends as Milton Berle, Red Buttons, and Eddie Cantor. He claims to have originated the Truckin' dance which became nationally popular at the start of the 1930s.

Markham performed regularly at N…

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (born Mary Jane McLeod; July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955)

Mary Jane McLeod was born in 1875 in a small log cabin near Mayesville, South Carolina, on a rice and cotton farm in Sumter County. She was the fifteenth of seventeen children born to Sam and Patsy (McIntosh) McLeod, both former slaves.Most of her siblings had been born into slavery. Her mother worked for her former master, and her father farmed cotton near a large house they called "The Homestead."
Her parents wanted to be independent so had sacrificed to buy a farm for the family. As a child, Mary would accompany her mother to deliver "white people’s" wash. Allowed to go into the white children’s nursery, Mary became fascinated with their toys. One day she picked up a book and as she opened it, a white child took it away from her, saying she didn’t know how to read. Mary decided then that the only difference between white and colored people was the ability to read and write. She was inspired to learn.
McLeod attended Mayesville's one-room black schoolhouse, Tri…