On This Day In Comedy… Rudolph Frank Moore (AKA Dolemite) Passes Away!

Business

OCTOBER 19TH

ON THIS DAY IN COMEDY . . .  2008

Comedian, Recording Artist, Actor, Dancer, Musician, Filmmaker, Rudolph Frank Moore (aka Dolemite) died.

Born on March 17, 1927 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Moore was known as the “Godfather of Rap” based on his numerous comedy albums featuring dirty rhymes and jokes.   He went by the stage name of Dolemite, a character in his films who was part-pimp, part gangster.

Moore got his start as a preacher in Milwaukee.  He expanded his flair for entertaining as a dancer / singer in nightclubs, known by the name of Prince DuMarr.  His Army buddies changed that name to the Harlem Hillbilly when Moore shipped out to Germany as part of their entertainment troupe.  He sang country songs with an R&B feel.  He also got turned onto comedy.  Once out of the Army he moved to Los Angeles, got back in nightclubs and got discovered.    Dootsie Williams recorded Moore’s songs under 5 different labels from 1955-1962.  In 1959 Moore recorded his first comedy album, Below the Belt, followed by The Beatnik Scene (1962) and A Comedian Is Born (1964).   He was making a living, but not living it up.

Then came Dolemite.  He’d heard stories about the character from a guy while Moore was working at a record store in 1970 and decided to become that character for his own persona.     He recorded the comedic tales in natural settings; like his own home with friends over drinking and getting high as Moore told jokes, sang songs and did nasty rhymes.  He was an instant hit.

Moore was one of the titans of “party records”; recordings labeled XXX by most of their distributors.  Many of these albums were sold under the table at record stores and had to be given to the patron in a brown paper bag so the suggestive covers of naked women were obscured.   In rapid succession Moore released Eat out More Often, This Pussy Belongs to Me and The Dirty Dozens. 

It was through those recordings that he was able to finance his first film, Dolemite (1975).  That low budget hit became known as one of the greatest Blaxploitation films of all time and spawned sequels:  The Human Tornado, The Monkey Hustle, Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil’s Son-in-Law and The Return of Dolemite. .  Moore was ghettofabulous and traveled extensively as Dolemite as his stage act and his fans adored him.  He could do no wrong with them.  On the road his merchandise sales often tallied more than the fee he received to perform.

Moore remained active throughout his career.     His popularity endured as rap artists; especially Snoop Dogg credit rap to Moore.   It was his raw edged rhymes accompanied by music in the background that lent itself to his pioneer status.  Even in his later years he was so revered rappers sought his collaboration on their tunes and he’s featured in many from Big Daddy Kane to 2 Live Crew.

Rudy Ray Moore was prolific.   He released over 30 records, appeared in almost 20 films and lent his talent and expertise to other artists until he passed away in Akron, Ohio from complications of diabetes.

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton

www.darryllittleton.lol

About author / Humor Mill

About US

The Humor Mill Magazine is a on line digital magazine, website and TV show that’s about the Urban Comic & Urban Hollywood for the general audience. Its for comedians/actors who are looking for that outlet to be seen, and its also about the under-served Urban Hollywood scene. The Humor Mill Magazine features comedy, music and movie news, while we also discuss some important issues. We also feature comics who have been on the scene for a while but haven’t quite become a household name yet. We also feature articles on Hollywood actors who we see all the time but just don’t know their name yet. All that, plus what’s going down for the week in the latest issue, The Humor Mill covers it all as it keeps you IN THE KNOW!

POPULAR CATEGORIES

LOL!

More
%d bloggers like this: