Dolemite is dead!



Rudy Ray Moore is dead.

For those who aren’t in the know, Rudy Ray was a raunchy ’60s & ’70s-era comic (known as “king of the party records” back in his day) with a style more rude and explicit than his more-popular peers like Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor. Despite his cult status, he was featured more recently in popular rap tunes from Big Daddy Kane and 2 Live Crew.

But for me and many others, Rudy Ray will always be remembered for DOLEMITE (and its sequel, THE HUMAN TORNADO), the 1975 feature film where Moore expanded his pimp stand-up character into a full-fledged movie persona. I was first exposed to DOLEMITE on the classic Wizard Video trailer compilation THE BEST OF SEX & VIOLENCE, hosted by John Carradine (and to give the guy some credit, produced by none other than Full Moon head honcho Charles Band!). Amidst the violence of trailers like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or the sexy camp of TANYA’S ISLAND, the DOLEMITE and HUMAN TORNADO trailers were great fun to share with friends because they’re chock full of all the best lines. Check it out! (Warning: Lots of bad language here, NSFW!)

Of course, in due time I tracked down VHS copies of DOLEMITE and THE HUMAN TORNADO (as well as other popular Rudy Ray flicks like PETEY WHEATSTRAW and DISCO GODFATHER), and as often happens, sometimes the movies didn’t live up to the trailers. Not to say the movies are bad — they’re total ’70s blaxploitation camp at its best — but really all of the best material was in the trailer.

Most shocking for me was to read that Rudy Ray died right here in Akron, Ohio at the age of 81! I had no idea that Dolemite himself was living right here in my own hometown, for I surely would have tried to track him down and meet the man in person had I known. Sadly, Rudy Ray leaves behind his 98-year-old mother Lucille and a daughter, Yvette “Rusty” Wesson.

Rudy Ray, you will be missed.

P.S.: I just found Rudy Ray’s online obituary guestbook, so if you want to leave some words for the man, click here!



This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 9:01 am and is filed under Announcements, Complaint Department, Movies, Random Thoughts, Seen & Heard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Dolemite is dead!”

  1. jays138 Says:

    This is quite a tribute. I am really moved. Of course it was much more touching the first time I read it on James Edwards Myspace page, written a good 12 hours before you decided to write one. I guess it took you a while to read Mr. Edwards words and pass them off as your own. You have proven to be a hack in all facets of life JR. A hack film director, writer and producer, and now proof you are a complete hack in life to. I met you at some convention you were peddling your awful movies at once and I thought you were an arrogant ass. I had the fortune of meeting Mr. Edwards sometime after and found him to be quite the opposite. I only mention this because after those two experiences I shouldn’t be surprised you would pull a classless move like this. Grow up. And for God sake get a real job. Its over JR. Has been for a while.

  2. J.R. Bookwalter Says:

    Thanks Jackass… of course you’re making the big assumption that I read or care about anything that Mr. Edwards has to say, neither of which are true. It just so happens that we probably both discovered Rudy Ray in the same way and maybe even around the same time, but I guess a genius like you probably couldn’t figure that out.

    Oh, and way to sully Rudy Ray’s memory by being a negative prick. Good one!