Wayne Moss’ lively, engaging guitar work can be heard on Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Waylon Jennings’ “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” Tommy Roe’s “Sheila” and Bob Dylan’s legendary album Blonde on Blonde, among many other classic recordings. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Moss played on sessions with Lefty Frizzell, Kris Kristofferson, Brenda Lee, Dolly Parton, Carl Perkins, Ray Price, Charley Pride, Joe Simon, Porter Wagoner, and many more. Moss also had success as a songwriter and studio owner, and as a recording artist with the bands Area Code 615 and Barefoot Jerry.
The youngest of four children, Bradley Wayne Moss was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on February 9, 1938. His love affair with music began at age eight when he borrowed a guitar from a family friend, prompting him a year later to acquire his own instrument for $6 at a local pawn shop. In 1956, Moss’ first song, “Starry Eyes,” was recorded by the Hilltoppers on Dot Records, and shortly afterward he was playing guitar with the Echo Valley Boys on WWVA’s Wheeling Jamboree.
In 1959, at age 21, Moss relocated to Nashville, where he played guitar in several rock and R&B groups before joining Brenda Lee’s backing band, the Casuals. Moss later joined the Escorts, a rock & roll outfit that featured multi-instrumentalist Charlie McCoy and other local musicians. The high profile group became known for their raucous live performances, and Moss and several other members went on to become sought-after studio musicians.
Moss’ rock & roll aesthetic, melded with his traditional country background, created a guitar style that fit perfectly into country music’s changing landscape throughout the ’60s and ’70s—and even crossed over into other musical genres. Moss’ work can be heard on cuts by artists including Joan Baez, Clifford Curry, Charlie Daniels, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Leo Kottke, Mike Nesmith, Nancy Sinatra, Hank Snow, Tammy Wynette and many others. Moss was also an integral part of the legendary Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde sessions, which enlisted Nashville’s highly touted session musicians.
As a songwriter, Moss had several of his own songs cut by artists including Chet Atkins, Roy Clark, Mac Davis, Brenda Lee, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tuck and Patti, and more.
In the late 1960s, Moss and Charlie McCoy formed Area Code 615, an infinitely talented and energetic band made up of Nashville’s A-list studio musicians. The group’s unique interpretations of pop tunes using traditional country instrumentation resonated with critics and music fans alike. Area Code 615’s self-titled debut album was nominated for a Grammy in 1970. The group released a follow-up record, A Trip in the Country, a year later, played a legendary show at the Fillmore West and went their separate ways shortly thereafter. However, Moss, vocalist and guitarist Mac Gayden, drummer Kenny Buttrey and keyboard player John Harris forged ahead and formed Barefoot Jerry, a new collection of studio all-stars. The group, with a rotating cast of 25 players, toured extensively and went on to record six albums throughout the 1970s on Capitol, Warner Bros. and Monument.
Moss opened his studio, Cinderella Sound, in 1960. He still owns and operates it today, and the studio is one of the oldest active studios in Music City. Artists who recorded at the exclusive space include Charlie Daniels, Little Jimmy Dickens, John Hartford, Mel McDaniel, Mickey Newbury, Linda Ronstadt, Ricky Skaggs, the Steve Miller Band, and the Whites, among others.
Moss continues to perform locally and in 2008 released the gospel record Seek Ye First with hit songwriters Vicki and Donnie Clark, in the group New Hope Road.