photo: Jesse Morris, Western Swing Journal
Moore, a member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, was a pioneering electric mandolinist. In fact, he is sometimes (erroneously) credited with inventing the solidbody version, and is still the person most closely associated with the instrument.
Tiny studied the violin as a child. He picked up the electric mandolin after hearing the playing of Leo Raley. Tiny's first electric mandolin was built by Raymond Jones, a friend from his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. Tiny joined Wills' band in 1946. During his four-year tenure with the Playboys, he played what looks like an early 1940s Gibson EM-125 (an obscure cousin of the better-known EM-150). In the photo below, it appears to be stock except for the white knob.
In 1952, while living in Sacramento and playing with Wills' brother, Billy Jack, Tiny acquired a 5-string, single-course, solidbody instrument built by Paul Bigsby (pictured on the LP cover). Later he became associated with a maker named Jay Roberts, who built copies of the Bigsby (pictured in the publicity photo and on the book cover). Tiny sold these instruments through his own shop. He also played with Merle Haggard, and was an adept fiddler and vocalist. As a teacher, he can count dozens of contemporary musicians among his proteges (though not all of them are known as electric mandolinists). He published an instructional book and tape (below), which are long out of print.