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LEE MOSES

Intro
Despite Lee Moses being a name that is very familiar to a lot of Hendrix collectors there still isn`t any concrete direct evidence that Jimi Hendrix & Lee Moses actually knew each other or worked together. I haven`t seen any direct quotes from Lee anywhere, he told various people that he played with Jimi Hendrix and this information has been passed on. But, although there is nothing on record from Lee himself about his association with Hendrix there is, however, a lot of (circumstantial) evidence from Lee`s friends and fellow musicians.

Lee Moses apparently lived in Atlanta his whole life, only making occasional trips to New York City for gigs and (Johnny Brantley produced) studio sessions.

Based on the statements from Lee`s colleagues and evidence from Jimi himself it is clear that Jimi Hendrix also spent time, played with various people and possibly recorded in Atlanta in 1964.

Later in 1966 Jimi worked for Johnny Brantley in New York City, as did Lee Moses, so it´s highly likely that the two at least met at some point. The question is finding out when and how this happened, and whether they indeed did play and / or record together.

JIMI ARRIVES IN ATLANTA
Lee`s friends and collaborators Herman Hitson (aka Hermon Hitson) and Freddie Terrell have both stated that they played and / or recorded with Jimi Hendrix in Atlanta in 1964. The Dark End Of The Street -blog interviewed both in 2006.

from the Herman Hitson interview:
"[...] the classic deep soul side “Too Much For The Human Heart” [...] features both Lee and Freddie. This side was licensed by Johnny Brantley to Atco and issued in 1965.

This initial success prompted talk that Atco would be interested in releasing an album by Hermon so later that year he was back in the studio working on the tracks. It was during this time that Hermon met Jimi Hendrix who was in town with the Isley Brothers and he was hanging out with the DJ Gorgeous George. Gorgeous George introduced Hermon to Hendrix and Hendrix sat in on a number of the tracks which Hermon was laying down for the proposed album. The album eventually got shelved and Brantley held onto to the masters which eventually ended up being released by Brantley at a later date as a Hendrix package with Hermon’s vocals chopped off!"

from the Freddie Terrell interview:
Freddie would play hits of the day with Lee or play after hour’s jam session with artists who were passing through. One such jam session involved the young Hendrix who was passing through town with the Isley Brothers and who decided to stay over. It was during this time that Freddie met Hermon at the Night Cap club where the Showstoppers had a residency.

The sequence of events seems to have gotten a bit mixed up here which is not surprising after 40 years. The Herman Hitson -version of "You Are Too Much For The Human Heart" was recorded and released in 1968.1 Brantley did later mix out the vocals, add new overdubs and release the song and several others as Jimi Hendrix recordings, that is correct. But it`s unlikely that Jimi would have worked on the original track in 1964.

Hitson & Terrell both state that Jimi came to Atlanta with the Isley Brothers. The same story is told by Mighty Hannibal in the liner notes of the cd "Hannibalism!":
"Little Richard introduced me to Esquerita, the Magnificent Malochi, right here in New York. As a matter of fact, I introduced Richard to Jimi Hendrix. Jimi played some shows with me in Atlanta. He and his bass player Billy Cox used to do these shows with this guy Gorgeous George, the singer, not the wrestler. When they said that Jimi died the way that he did, I got mad. Jimi never even smoked a joint around me. He came up here and played with the isley Bros. And the Isley Bros. didn't really like the sound he had. They put Jimi out in the snow in Boston, the way I heard it."

And finally, Jimi himself stated that he "missed the bus" and ended up in Atlanta, he talked about staying in the city on at least two occasions:

Postcard to Al Hendrix send while on tour with the Bonnevilles, stamped Thursday 8 October 1964 in Cincinnati, Ohio:
" Dear Dad. Here we are in Florida, we're going to play in Tampa tomorrow - then Miami, we're playing all through the south. We'll end up in Dallas Texas. My home address is Atlanta. I hope everyone's ok tell Grama in Canada hi for me. Tell Leon to be kool and go to school. I must run now - take it easy - My address is 318 Fort St. APT. 3 Atlanta Ga. Jimmy"

Interview with Klas Burling Stockholm 25 May 1967:
Jimi: "Then I got stranded in Kansas City cause I missed the bus. So I was in Kansas City Missouri and didn't have any money. This group came up and brought me back to Atlanta, Georgia where I met Little Richard and started playing with him for a while."

The group that "brought Jimi back" to Atlanta may have been Mighty Hannibal. So it seems that Jimi probably "decided to stay over" or "missed the bus" or was "put out in the snow" while on tour with the Isley Brothers and stayed in Atlanta for a while, using it as his home base long enough to even send an Atlanta address to his father. Note that the postcard was send by Jimi while back on the road, he had already arrived in Atlanta, possibly with the Isley Brothers, rented an apartment in the city and left again with another band. Which means that his stay in Atlanta continued, on and off, for a longer period than just a few nights. See the 318 Fort Street locations-page for more information on Jimi's Atlanta address.

So Jimi MAY very well have also played with Lee Moses in Atlanta in 1964 as Terrell, Hitson and Hannibal all state they played with Jimi during this time.

FAKE HENDRIX
Regarding the Hitson track with the "vocals chopped off", that is a very complex tale. Johnny Brantley produced and released a lot of "fake" Hendrix material. Some of it old Brantley produced recordings with the vocals removed and new overdubs added, some newly recorded long guitar jams and some tracks with apparently absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of the people discussed here. When these tracks were released in the 70s as a series of reworked and remixed compilations under Jimi`s name Lee Moses was often credited as a producer along with Johnny Brantley.

One major reason why I started an artist section for Lee Moses was to try and sort out his exact involvement with these "fake" Hendrix recordings. The fake tracks are very curious, a lot of them have been done in a "psychedelic" vein which suggests a deliberate attempt to deceive, but if you listen to the Lee Moses version of "Hey Joe" it`s clear that if Lee would have wanted to he could have made much more convincing Hendrix pastiches than those heard on the fake Hendrix albums. So it´s very hard to say whether Lee Moses knowingly participated in the making of the recordings to be released by Johnny Brantley as Hendrix albums, or if he at the time believed he was recording something else altogether.

Mighty Hannibal released an lp in 1973 as King Hannibal, "Truth". Both Lee Moses and Herman Hitson appear on the record, in fact it`s likely that several musicians that play on the lp also played on some of the "fake" Jimi Hendrix songs aka Herman Hitson solo album probably recorded around this time. You can read more about these recordings on the Lonnie Younglood "Fakes" -page.

NEW YORK CITY 1966
It is also quite possible that Lee Moses and Jimi may have met in New York City circa 1965-1966. Jimi did a lot of work for Johnny Brantley in 1966, and Lee Moses seems to have recorded exclusively for Brantley, so theoretically it`s more than likely that they crossed paths. I haven`t, however, quite been able to sort out the release dates of all of Lee Moses' solo records and some tracks may have been recorded years before they were finally released. Also, sessions apparently took place both in Atlanta and in New York City further complicating matters. The original liner notes for the "fake" Hendrix album Moods claim that the tracks were recorded in New York in 1966 but that may not be entirely reliable information.

CODA
In conclusion, there are several musical connections between Jimi Hendrix and Lee Moses and many possible occasions on which they could have met but so far nothing has been confirmed by a written or recorded source that would prove that they actually definitively knew each other. The Jimi Hendrix recordings with a Lee Moses -credit all seem to have been made or reworked after Jimi`s passing and half of them were (according to Herman Hitson) actually done for a Herman Hitson solo album and later rebranded by Johnny Brantley as Hendrix recordings.

Because of all these uncertainties I'm for the time being listing Lee Moses as an unconfirmed artist. One reason that this Lee Moses -section of the website may seem disproportionately large for an "unconfirmed" artist is that because there is no direct evidence to connect Lee Moses with Jimi Hendrix I`ve tried to collect all of the circumstantial evidence available in order to see how likely or unlikely such a connection is. Also, all of Lee Moses' original solo releases were produced by Johnny Brantley, someone who DID play a very large part in the story of Jimi's early career. Lee recorded "Hey Joe" as a clear tribute to Jimi and mentions Hendrix in "Got That Will" but this is just evidence for him clearly being a fan.

Another reason is that once I started to really listen to Lee's recordings in order to put together a comprehensive discography I discovered that I really liked him as a solo artist in his own right. Often one hears music by legendary "cult" artists and isn`t necessarily that impressed - unless it happens to hit you in just the right spot. Lee Moses probably was like many cult artists in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many of his recordings, especially the earlier singles are very raw, almost garage rock rather than soul music. With Lo-fi sound with the band occasionally playing out of tune & out of time and Lee Moses pouring his heart out on top.

Lee probably faced many of the same obstacles of "not fitting in" in his career in music as Jimi did at the start, but he didn`t get the break of meeting someone like Chas Chandler who had the knowhow and connections to present his work to a different market altogether and help him make a commercial breakthrough. In fact Lee Moses still doesn`t quite fit in as, unsurprisingly, many of his more "rock oriented" tracks are appreciated less by soul fans who of course prefer the raw deep soul tracks. The same thing often still happens with Jimi Hendrix but in reverse, many fans tend to appreciate his early "psychedelic rock" -recordings much more than his later music with heavy soul & funk influences.

But while Lee's recordings originally sold very few copies and hence once were rare and hard to get (and the original releases still are) there are nowadays numerous re-issues available and the music is on streaming services. Now anyone interested can easily have a listen and make up their own mind.

With thanks to Peter Strömbäck



SOURCES
1 The fake Jimi Hendrix -track "Human Heart" is available in two versions, titled mostly either as "Human Heart", "Let Me Go" or "Louisville". Both of these takes are versions of "You Are Too Much For The Human Heart" recorded by Herman Hitson on 1 March 1968. The date comes from the book "Atlantic Records Discography Vols. 1 & 2" (compiled by Michel Ruppli). The original Herman Hitson 45 "You Are Too Much For The Human Heart / I Got That Will" (Atco 6566) was issued in 1968, it was re-issued in 2000 on a Kent -label compilation cd "Sanctified Soul" (CDKEND 180).

Both "fake" takes sound quite different to the single track, but the song itself is clearly the same, and on one of the "fake" takes faint singing can be heard. The vocals are extremely low, but when you compare them to the single version you are able to match bits of the lyrics. The fake "Human Heart" has a much slower tempo compared to the Hitson single, so it's a different take, not the 45 take with overdubs.

Record World 16 March 1968:
"New Artist on Atco: Herman Hitson. Title: "You`re Too Much for the Human Heart."