Robert James Mosley, 55, drove truck, loved oldies music

August 11, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

A visit to Robert James Mosley's Northeast Baltimore home was a trip through oldies music heaven.

The smooth strains of the Drifters, Platters, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino or some other 1950s or 1960s act always wafted through the house when he was home.

And often, consumed by the music, Mr. Mosley would be in the middle of the living room doing a little two-step.

"He just loved his oldies," said his nephew, Rick Mosley of Baltimore. "Just give him his oldies and that would be all he needed."

Mr. Mosley, 55, died Aug. 3 at his Parkside home of a heart attack. He had an impressive collection of oldies on cassette tapes, 45s and albums that he played on an aging phonograph. Compact discs were too modern for him.

"He could name and probably had almost every old song you could think of -- at least all the good ones," said a sister Mary Blanchard of Baltimore.

Mr. Mosley had few passions besides his family, or hobbies; just his old hits.

He was a truck driver at the port of Baltimore, and when he came home each day, his oldies and record player got a workout.

"I got a call from him in the middle of the night one time, and I could hear music playing -- I'm not sure who, but I think it was [the Drifters'] 'Under the Boardwalk,' " his nephew said. "I said, 'I have to go to work in the morning.' He said he didn't that day and was just listening to music."

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Mosley moved with his family to New York as a child but returned to Baltimore when he was 15 and worked for a trucking company.

In 1971, he became a tractor-trailer driver with the International Longshoremen's Association at Dundalk Marine Terminal, where he worked at the time of his death.

"He liked hard work; he liked the interaction with the other guys," Rick Mosley said. "He felt good about his work."

Mrs. Blanchard said one of her brother's favorite tunes was "The Time" by "Baby" Washington.

In fact, he saw her perform the song several years ago at a Baltimore nightclub, his sister said.

"He used to always sing that song and when she started to sing and he was there, if the floor had of opened, he would have fallen through," Mrs. Blanchard said.

Services were Friday at St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church in East Baltimore.

Other survivors include a brother, Norman Cromwell of Cumberland; and two other sisters, Harriett Mosley and Barbara White, both of Baltimore.

Pub Date: 8/11/96

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