Moore Pickers Please

            For local musicians, James and Cass Moore, music is a way of life, passed down from father to son. Considering the legacy that follows James Moore since the early days of the Rock ‘N Flames, it is comforting to know that his music is being seeped into the next generation through Cass.

            Known for years now as “The Picker,” James had his first taste of playing music on an old Spanish guitar given to him by his cousin, Colleen. Music came naturally to him, trickling down from his mom’s side of the family. He had an uncle who often played big band music in the What Cheer Band Stand. In High School he met up with Charlie Sigafoose and they started taking some lessons and learned to play.

            “I got into county pretty good there at one time. My brother Sydney who was dating a girl form Cedar Rapids and frequented the Dancemore Ballroom came to me and said, ‘You got to switch from this country and get into rock and roll, the women up there, they just go crazy over it.’ So that’s what we ended up doing,” James said.

            His first show as the Rock ‘N Flames was in 1957 at Thornburg High School for his sister’s graduation party. Soon after, the venues switched up and the band began to play in Cedar Rapids at the Dancemore and other venues in the area like Marengo and Clear Lake. Before too long, they became regional musicians and played in other states like Minnesota and Illinois.

Members of the original Rock ‘N Flames included James Moore and his brother Sydney Moore, drummer, Roy Cadwell, Ron Coglan on bass, and saxophonist Walt Dean Cheney. Due to the popularity of James Moore and the band, in 2003, they were inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Later on, pianist Vern Sandersfeld joined the band as well. Other bands James and Cass have been in include “Sundown III” and “JRJ.” 


For the rest of this article, check out the May 29th issue of the Keota Eagle.


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