Colleagues and family friends took to social media as news spread that former WDIA radio personality Fred “Hollywood” Moore died Saturday (Jan. 9) morning.
He was 68.
One of the station’s most well-known personalities, Bev Johnson, told The New Tri-State Defender that Moore was “kind of laid back and real smooth.”
She continued, “I came to WDIA in 1983, 38 years ago, and Fred came a later that same year, I believe it was,” said Johnson. “Fred was real smooth on the air, and he had that infectious laugh. It sort of reminded you of (the legendary) Nat Williams.”
Johnson remembers that Moore came here to the Memphis market from Indianapolis.
“He worked at radio station WTLC in Indianapolis,” said Johnson. “Fred later became program director at that station in 1977. But before he came to the station in Indianapolis, Fred worked at a station in St. Louis. So, he was no novice when he came here to us.”
About 10 years ago, WDIA followed the declining trend of urban formats across the nation. A massive lay-off sweep ended the careers of a number of radio personnel and on-air personalities. Moore was in that number.
Johnson said his presence was deeply missed by those who stayed. She remembers when Moore got the nickname “Hollywood.”
“When Fred first came to the station, he told us he always wanted to be an actor,” Johnson said. “He landed some roles in stage plays in the city. And we just started calling him ‘Hollywood’— Fred “Hollywood” Moore. And the name kind of stuck from that time. Fred was also in a couple of movies that filmed here, too.”
Mark Stansbury, on-air personality on Sunday, remembers Fred as a “good brother” to work with.
“Fred had a very good voice,” said Stansbury. He was one of the hosts for All Blues Saturday. Fred was a very caring family man and loved his daughter and wife dearly.”
Sherry Mackey, a former colleague of Moore, posted this tribute on Facebook:
“Rest in Love to one of the kindest people I have had the honor to work with, former WDIA personality, Fred “Hollywood” Moore. He loved God and people. When I was a rookie, he gave me advice and always a good laugh. Praying for the strength and peace of his family as we honor his legacy.”
Stan Bell, one of the city’s most beloved on-air personalities and popular, local DJ also posted on Facebook:
“We have lost a gentle giant in the radio industry. Former WDIA radio personality Mr. Fred “Hollywood” Moore transitioned Saturday morning. He was a kind and good man with a super smooth voice and infectious laugh. One of the best to don headsets and bless the mic in the control room. May God Bless his family, his spirit, and his legacy.”
Cam Mtenzi posted an extended tribute to Moore on Facebook. It reads in part:
“MY GOD PLEASE HAVE MERCY! The Legendary Fred “Hollywood” Moore,
(Former WDIA radio personality & Annual Stone Awards’ Host)…was my friend, partner in the Entertainment industry, an extension of Ma’&9 Mustard Seeds Family member and It’s my Time Entertainment/ House of MTenzi Museum Committee Member.
“Fred ” Hollywood” Moore was the leading Actor in MA’&9’s 1998/ 99/2000 stage play “Have Eyes see not; Have Ears hear not: Story of a family witness signs of the time…My Prayers & condolences to Mrs. Judy Moore & the Moore Family…”
Final arrangements were pending at press time Wednesday (Jan. 13).