Rudy Ray Moore was a genius one-of-a-kind comedian who achieved legendary status for his role as Dolemite, the kung fu-fighting pimp. Now Donald H. Randell, Moore’s manager and the President and CEO of the Donald H. Randell Experience, has announced an opportunity for fans to own a piece of Dolemite history. On July 30th, the master recordings of the entire Rudy Ray Moore main catalogue of comedy albums will go up for auction through SongVest. Included are unreleased masters that include outtakes from comedy shows, instrumental tracks, and more.
Moore first got a taste for being in the spotlight as a singer in church and after winning a talent contest in Cleveland (where the Arkansas-born comedian moved as a teen). There, he began singing and dancing in “black and tan” clubs amongst a lineup of raunchy comedians and sexy dancers. In 1950, he was drafted and stationed in Germany, where he experimented with a variety of over-the-top characters (the country-R&B singer “the Harlem Hillbilly” and the turbaned dancer “Prince Dumarr”) as part of the military’s entertainment unit.
His big break came while he was working in an L.A. record store frequented by a regular customer named Rico. Moore was amused by Rico’s stories about an outrageous pimp named Dolemite…and the rest is comedy history.
In 1970, Moore released his first explicit comedy album as Dolemite, the groundbreaking Eat Out More Often. He followed it up with two more albums (This Pussy Belongs To Me and The Dirty Dozens) featuring jazz and R&B musicians playing in the background as Moore recited explicit rhymes about Dolemite’s world of pimps, prostitutes, players, and hustlers. A number of later rap stars, including Snoop Dogg, have cited Moore as an influence on their music.
Several films were to follow, including the wildly popular Dolemitemovie, as well as The Human Tornado, The Monkey Hustle, Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil’s Son-in-Law, and Disco Godfather. Moore released albums of several of his movies – including The Cockpitalbum featuring the morally bankrupt Petey Wheatstraw – as well as recordings of his raucous live concerts.
Randell met Moore while the comedian was filming Petey Wheatstraw; Moore worked on and had a small part in the film. Next up was The Disco Godfather – a film which Randell worked with Moore until the very end. Randell soon began working with Moore to collect sample monies the star knew nothing about, kicking off a partnership that would have Randell managing Moore’s 25+ city tour and quickly becoming the “go-to” guy in Hollywood when it comes to producing and directing films for home entertainment. The serial entrepreneur has produced and coordinated projects for a roster of talent that includes Grammy Award nominees and winners Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tone Loc, Busta Rhymes, and 2 Live Crew. He is the mind behind the magazine format show “Hollywood Minute,” as well as Low Riders & Classic Cars, a documentary exploring the low riding lifestyle.
With the auction, Randell hopes to continue to bring Moore back into the limelight. Moore’s story was highlighted in the 2019 film Dolemite Is My Name, which starred Eddie Murphy (who used to attend Moore’s shows in L.A.). His story also be told in Randell’s upcoming documentary and cartoon series that will highlight the mega-manager’s time spent working with the star.
“As a kid under the age of 10, I used to sneak and listen to Rudy Ray Moore on 8-track tape in my older brother Randy’s lowrider car; I’d be laughing so hard; I clearly remember those days,” said Randell. “I’m so blessed to have worked with Rudy for so many years, to have helped lift him up when he was down, and to have seen the unfiltered Rudy Ray Moore with my own two eyes.”
The SongVest auction will include the master recordings of Moore’s main catalogue of comedy albums; it will not include the artist’s music or the soundtracks to his movies. It will run through August 20th at 3 p.m. EST.
“Randell is offering fans of Moore’s over-the-top characters and performances a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of the comedy canon,” said Sean Peace, President of SongVest. “The new owner of these masters have an awesome opportunity to breathe new life into Rudy’s comedy and bring in brand-new audiences that will significantly increase the value.”
Check out the auction with SongVest (which will run through August 27th) at www.songvest.com.