Guide to the Pee Wee Moore Papers, 1945-2009


"Pee Wee" (Numa Smith) Moore (born Raleigh, N.C., 5 March 1928; died Raleigh, N.C., 13 April 2009) was a professional jazz saxophonist, who performed and recorded with musicians including Louis Jordan, Illinois Jacquet, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, and Mary Lou Williams. The Pee Wee Moore Papers contain materials created and collected by Moore from throughout his career as a jazz saxophonist, including photographs, newspapaer clippings and other paper materials, as well as audio and moving image recordings of concerts, rehearsals, and oral history interviews.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Pee Wee Moore papers
Moore, Pee-Wee, 1928-
3 Linear Feet, 500 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The Pee Wee Moore Papers contain materials created and collected by Moore from throughout his career as a jazz saxophonist. Materials are arranged into three categories: photographs, clippings and miscellaneous materials, and audio and moving image materials. Photographs include professional and candid pictures of Moore from throughout his life with images of jazz musicians including Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody. There are a large amount of clippings concerning Moore's life as a saxophonist, with a particular emphasis on his time performing with Louis Jordan, as well as manuscript drafts of jazz lead sheets. The collection also contains A/V materials including concert and rehearsal recordings from the 1980s along with oral history recordings related to Moore's life.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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Collection is open for research.

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More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Pee Wee Moore Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Clippings, Programs, Sheet Music, and Miscellaneous Items, 1960-2009

7 folders

Clippings include newspaper articles about Moore's life and career as a jazz musician. One folder is devoted entirely to clippings related to Moore's time performing with Louis Jordan, and another folder contains photocopies of materials from a notebook of personal contacts compiled by Moore. This series also includes several programs from Moore's performances in the Raleigh, NC area during the 1990s along with programs from Moore's commencement ceremony at Wake Technical Institute and programs from Moore's funeral. One folder primarily contains manuscript drafts of jazz lead sheets presumably written by Moore along with a small amount of published music by other composers. Miscellaneous items include Moore's certificates from Wake Technical Institute, documents concerning the repairs of Moore's home in Raleigh, NC, a calendar featuring Moore on the cover, and the plaque from Moore's funeral.

Clippings, programs, sheet music, and miscellaneous items
Box 1

2. Photographs, 1945-2008

7 folders

Six folders arranged by size and original order when possible. Pictures include a range of candid shots from Moore's travels and his time living in New York and North Carolina. There are also pictures of Moore's performances, including many with local jazz musicians from the Raleigh-Durham area. There are several images with notable figures such as Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, and President Ronald Reagan. One folder contains negatives that correspond to many of the photographs in the collection.


Clippings folders; Photographs folders 1-3

Box 1

Photograph folders 4-6 and negative folder

Box 1A

3. Audio and Moving Image Materials, 1957-2009

1 box

Contains a variety of audio and moving image recordings of various concerts and rehearsals Moore was a part of in the 1980s and 1990s, along with three of the commercial recordings he performed on during his career, including two with Dizzy Gillespie. Also contains two sets of oral history interviews conducted with Moore in the 2000s.

Audio Cassettes

(Original titles retained. CD use copies available.)

101: August 19, 1984 art school
Box 2
102: Ed Massey and Pee Wee
Box 2
103: Elmer and Pee Wee
Box 2
104: Pee Wee, Sistie, Ed, Elmer at Irregardless, Spring 1996
Box 2
105: Pee Wee Moore Concert 6/12/93 Raleigh Mem Aud
Box 2
106: EM17 X
Box 2
107: Wake Med Cafe 9/29/04; Pee Wee and Chris
Box 2
108: Interview with Pee Wee Moore by Marshall Wyatt
Box 2
109: Interview with Pee Wee Moore by Elmer Gibson
Box 2
110: Dizzy Gillespie at Newport, 1957
Box 2
201: Pee Wee Moore Quartet, Saxey, 1980

(CD use copy available.)

Box 2
202: Dizzy Gillespie Octet, The Greatest Trumpet of Them All
Box 2

Moving Image Materials

Contains VHS and DVD recordings of two concerts featuring Moore as well as a tribute DVD to Moore's life.

VHS and DVD recordings
Box 2

Historical Note

"Pee Wee" (Numa Smith) Moore was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 5, 1928. After attending Washington High School in Raleigh and Hampton College in Virginia, Moore began performing professionally as a baritone saxophonist in the early 1950s. He played with such artists as Lucky Millinder, Louis Jordan, Illinois Jacquet, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Mary Lou Williams, Bill Doggett, and Rich Hargrove. While Moore resided in New York for much of his professional career, he eventually returned to Raleigh, where he performed regularly as a saxophonist throughout the 1980s and beyond. Moore passed away due to complications from pancreatic cancer on April 13, 2009.

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The Pee Wee Moore Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2009.

Processing Information

Processed by Timothy Obert and Jeremy Smith, May 2010.

Encoded by Timothy Obert and Jeremy Smith, May 2010.

Accession 2009-0132 is described in this finding aid.