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Now that his new Rhino album, "Overnight Sensational," is gaining acclaim, Sam Moore says he's finally gotten something out of the way.Now that his new Rhino album, "Overnight Sensational," is gaining acclaim, Sam Moore says he's finally gotten something out of the way. "I don't have to try to prove I can sing with other people or that I can't sing anything other than 'Soul Man' or 'Hold On! I'm Coming,'" he tells Billboard.com. "That drives me up the wall."
Moore was in New York this week in New York for promotional appearances on behalf of "Overnight Sensational," which features Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Steve Winwood, Mariah Carey and Vince Gill, among others. Guest spots earlier this week on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and Don Imus' MSNBC show followed Moore's recent acceptance of a lifetime achievement award presented by Winwood at the MOBO awards in London.
"I was very happy to accept that honor," says Moore who, as a member of the R&B/pop duo Sam & Dave, scored several crossover hits in the '60s. "We played a part in bringing soul music to the U.K. That's something, you know?"
Having in his words "rounded the corner of every award that could come to a guy," Moore is hankering to get back into the studio to record a new solo project. "Wonderful writers have been approached already," says the singer, who turns 71 on Oct. 12. "The hardest thing is finding songs that Sam can sing singularly. That's going to be the job."
What most folks may not know is that before he and Sam & Dave partner Dave Prater hooked up, the Miami-born Moore was honing his chops singing standards like "I'll Never Smile Again."
"People won't believe I can sing those songs, but that's what I was doing," says Moore with a hearty laugh. "I'd be sitting on a stool in my seersucker suit with a shirt and tie, topped off by a stingy-brimmed hat. You couldn't tell me I wasn't Frank Sinatra."
Still, "Overnight Sensational" gave him the opportunity to work with someone dear to his heart: Billy Preston. Before he died earlier this year, Preston contributed to two songs on the album, "I Can't Stand the Rain" and his own composition, "You Are So Beautiful."
"He was like my son," recalls Moore. "I'd known him since he was 10. He still had to do his dialysis so it was hard. But I was happy to have my boy there playing. To look out through the glass and see him that day [in the studio] ... wow. I'm happy to have on the record a piece of those fingers that he was known for."