January 7, 2013 Sam Pace died at age 68

Pace was a member of the vocal group The Esquires, who were first formed in 1957 around the Moorer family: Gilbert Moorer, Jr., his brother Alvis V. Moorer, and their sister Betty. They first performed as Betty Moorer and the Esquires. When their sister and lead singer left, the group shortened its name to The Esquires, and Gilbert became lead singer. In 1961, Pace joined as a tenor. They went through many lineup changes over their first decade, which saw them aiming mostly for local recognition.

Pace married Patricia Moorer, a younger sister of the Moorer brothers. In 1966 they moved to Chicago and auditioned for Curtis Mayfield, who was not interested in signing them.They then attempted to sign with Constellation Records, but the record label went under at the end of 1966; they signed instead with Bunky Records, Constellation’s successor. Bunky was distributed by Scepter Records on the national level.

January 7, 2013   Sam Pace died at age 68

Their debut record for Bunky/Scepter was “Get on Up”, (1967) which became a major hit in the United States, peaking at #11 as a pop single but reaching #3 on the R&B charts. Following the release they played Chicago’s Regal Theater and the Apollo Theatre in New York City. Further singles were also successes, and the group released one full-length LP. After five singles on Bunky the group signed a deal with Scepter themselves late in 1968. They later returned to Bunky and then, in 1970, signed with Capitol Records for one single (“Reach Out”) and Lamarr Records in 1971 for “Girls in the City”. The Esquires continued to perform (with a changing line-up) over the next two decades, also recording for the labels, Lasco, Cigar Man Music, New World and Al Bun.

January 7, 2013   Sam Pace died at age 68

After lead singer/songwriter Gilbert Moorer’s death from throat cancer on August 28, 2008, at the age of 67, the Esquires were re-organized by Pace, under the guidance of Moorer’s uncle Alvis Moorer, Sr. and musical director and uncle Rudy Jacob. Gilbert’s son Johnny Moorer played an influential role in the direction the group took as they re-launched the Esquires with the children of Alvis Moorer, Sr. (1940-2011), Alvis Moorer, Jr., Alexis “Moorer” Rogers, and Linda “Moorer” Durham, but Pace stopped performing. Alvis Moorer died on August 21, 2011 at the age of 71. Edwards, who lives in Chicago, is now the only surviving member of the band from its recording days.


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