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Melba Moore lectures at the University of Connecticu

 Digital Record


  • 1989 November 14


Singer and actress Melba Moore lectured on 11/14/1989 (2015-0002/AC12).

Biographical / Historical

Beatrice Melba Hill or Beatrice Melba Smith (sources differ), better known by her stage name Melba Moore, was born on October 29, 1947, in New york City. Moore grew up in the Harlem section of New York until age 9 when her mother remarried jazz pianist Clement Leroy Moorman and the family relocated to Newark, New Jersey.

Moore began her recording career in 1967, cutting the track "Magic Touch" which was left unreleased until 1986. In later years it became an enormous track on the Northern Soul Scene, eventually leading to Moore performing it live in 2009 at the Baltic Soul Weekender 3 in Germany. In 1967, she began her performing career as Dionne in the original cast of the musical Hair along with Ronnie Dyson and Diane Keaton. Moore later replaced Keaton in the role of Sheila. In 1970, she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Lutiebelle in Purlie. She would not return to Broadway until 1978 when she appeared (as Marsinah) with Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu! but left the show after a few weeks.

Following the success of Purlie, Moore landed two big-screen film roles, released two successful albums, 1970's I Got Love and Look What You're Doing to the Man, and co-starred with actor Clifton Davis in the then-couple's own successful variety television series in 1972. The show was canceled after its brief run when their relationship ended. In 1973. Moore returned to Newark and began singing in benefit concerts. Her career picked up after she met record manager and business promoter Charles Huggins after a performance at the Apollo Theater in 1974.

In 1975 Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, I Am His Lady


1 Cassettes (Audio cassette tape recording) : 1 cassette, Side A-0:47:35, Side B-0:37:27. The recordings were combined for ease of listening. The combined run time of the digital recording is 1:24:57.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original audio recordings reside in the University of Connecticut, Black Experience in the Arts Collection, Archives & Special Collections, UConn Library.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US