Phil Moore


After losing everything in the 1929 crash, Moore’s adoptive parents moved from Portland, Ore., to Seattle’s Chinatown International District, where Moore went to work as a pianist for Frank Waldron, at the Chinese Gardens, to help support the family. Moore attended Cornish College and worked in Seattle until 1935, when he moved to Los Angeles. There, he became a vocal coach for movie stars such as Ava Gardner, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Marilyn Monroe and wrote music for films, including the Marx Brothers’ “A Day at the Races.” In the 1940s, Moore formed an influential quartet, the Phil Moore Four and in 1945 became the first black talent director for CBS.