2004 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Thomas, Jordan, Albritton, Butler, Chaney, Clarke, Frazier, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd)

Senate Concurrent Resolution 578

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, one of Mississippi's foremost music heritage pioneers, by anybody's standards, is Reverend Arnold Dwight "Gatemouth" Moore, Pastor of the Lintonia A.M.E. Church in Yazoo City, Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, born November 8, 1915, in Topeka, Kansas, Arnold Dwight Moore, nicknamed "Gatemouth" because of his loud singing and speaking voice, traveled to Memphis, Tennessee in the early 1930s.  He attended elementary school at the old Kortrecht Intermediate School and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School under the principalship of the great Educator Blair T. Hunt in 1938, along with Judge Benjamin Hooks, now Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and soon to be Director of the Civil Rights Museum; and

     WHEREAS, as a boy growing up on the world's famous Beale Street, he was influenced by the black culture and heritage that made up the street and the music that was a result of the day-to-day existence of the individuals that lived there.  This true son of Beale Street, and the student of the Blues, was a vocalist at the Elk's "Beale Street Blues Game," better known as The Blues Bowl, under the leadership of Lt. George W. Lee.  Gatemouth became Exalted Ruler of the Elk's I.B.B.O.P. and Mr. Beale Street in 1939.  He gained national fame as being a survivor of the great Natchez Fire in 1940.  Some of his fondest memories were of Miss Dora Todd, teacher at Booker T. Washington High School, and its legendary marching band, and the football games between Booker T. Washington High School and Manansas High School on the north side of town; and

     WHEREAS, Gatemouth Moore recorded his first record in 1941, and wrote such songs as "Somebody's Got To Go," "I Ain't Mad at You Pretty Baby," and "Did You Ever Love A Woman?", which was later recorded by B.B. King and Rufus Thomas, to name only a few.  He was the first of many firsts, having been the first blues singer to sing at Carnegie Hall; the first blues singer to travel with W.C. Handy to New York City; the first blues singer to sing at the segregated Peabody Hotel's Roof of Garden; and the first blues singer to sing at many halls around the country, such as The Apollo in New York, The Regal in Chicago, the Chicago Civic Center, The Music Hall in Detroit, the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., and The Royal in Baltimore Maryland; and

     WHEREAS, while performing at the Club Delisa in Chicago in 1949, he was converted while singing "Shine On Me." Gatemouth became a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and served his  first church on Florida and Colorado Street.  He was ordained by the late Bishop E.V. McEwen of C.O.G.I.C. over WDIA Radio Station, where he was the first religious D.J.; and

     WHEREAS, Arnold Dwight "Gatemouth" Moore - Preacher, Pastor, Blues Singer, Songwriter and Music Heritage Pioneer, is listed in Who's Who in Blues in America; and

     WHEREAS, with dazzling perseverance, Arnold Dwight "Gatemouth" Moore again and again has broken new ground, remaining at the forefront as one of Mississippi's greatest pioneers, and it is with pride that we recognize the legacy of this artist and preacher who brings honor to his congregation, his community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do here commend the career of Music Heritage Pioneer Reverend Arnold Dwight "Gatemouth" Moore, Pastor of Lintonia A.M.E. Church in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and extend to him and his family the best wishes of the Legislature.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Reverend Moore and his family and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.