Country Singer Allison Moorer Opens Up About Parents' Murder-Suicide, Trying To 'Forgive'

In her new memoir, country singer-songwriter Allison Moorer opened up about the events surrounding her parents’ troubling deaths and her lifelong journey to forgive her father.

Moorer, an Oscar-nominated entertainer best known for her country ballads, was only 14 years old when her father tracked her, her mother and her older sister to their rental house in Alabama, where he murdered the girls’ mother and then turned the gun on himself in 1986, according to CBS News.

The devastating attack left the sisters orphaned — full of questions that would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

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Angels with dirty faces again. I think this is from 1975 or so. Summertime. Hot and dusty. From “Blood” “We lived in the house in Frankville until I was twelve years old.It was a seven-room house and on the edge of ramshackle. It was the second one to stand on that parcel of land since the first had burned just before Lucille’s high school graduation. The house was rebuilt identically. It was made of wood and painted white, except for the ceiling of the front porch, which was a light turquoise. Painting door frames or the roof of your porch turquoise is supposed to keep out evil spirits. Seems some spirits slipped past and took a right at the dining room door off the hallway and set up shop at the pie safe Mama had refinished to use as a liquor cabinet. There were always grand plans for the house, but they would get started and never completed. Mama and Daddy would knock out a wall here and put up a partition there, leaving it more haphazard looking than it was before, always as if someone had a bright idea and then suddenly grew bored. Or depressed. Or ran out of money.” Never did I dream in those days that I’d ever live anywhere else. I’m humbled and thankful every day that I do. #bloodmemoir #linkinbio #hachettebooks #dacapopress #shelbylynne #frankvillealabama

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Now, 47-year-old Moorer reflects on the power of forgiveness and grace, as she continues to wrestle with those challenging questions.

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“I wanna know why, so that I can come to terms and say, ‘Okay, well, what I’m really trying to do is forgive,’” she said in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”

“I’m still trying not to be the daughter of a murderer. I’m still trying not to be the daughter of an abused and murdered woman. I’m still trying to redeem them,” she wrote in her memoir.

Both Moorer and her sister, Grammy Award-winner Shelby Lynne, have found success in the entertainment industry. The singer recalled that her bond with Lynne has always been a strong one, but was made stronger in the years following their parents’ deaths.

“It’s a difficult thing to walk through the world and not belong to anyone,” she told CBS. “So, we belong to each other, and we have always felt like that.”

She recalled the troubling years the two girls spent growing up in Alabama, watching and waiting as their parents’ domestic life worsened. Moorer told CBS that every night she would pray for her mother, describing the feeling in the household as one of “terror.”

“‘Please, God, don’t let daddy hurt mama,’” Moorer recalled praying. “I would say it over and over and over.”

However, not all the memories are bad ones. The singer remembers a childhood full of music that would shape her and Shelby’s creativity and passion for song. The sisters spent evenings singing alongside both their parents.

“Every record I’ve ever made has got some song on it that has something to do with this, something to do with my parents,” she said.

But as Franklin Moorer’s drinking problem and abuse worsened, Lynn Moorer took her daughters and fled, renting a house away from her husband, in 1986. Not long afterward, Franklin Moorer came after them.

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“I think he just broke,” his daughter said. The tragic night ended with her mother’s murder, her father’s death by suicide and a lifetime of recovery for Moorer and Lynne.

As always, the singer found comfort in her music. As the years went by, she and Lynne healed, pursuing grace for their father and peace for themselves. And after decades spent refining and reshaping her identity, Moore told CBS that she has come to feel love and compassion for both her parents.

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A word about tour dates: When we initially listed the shows, we only offered a ticket that was bundled with a book, so the ticket price reflected what a regular ticket price would be PLUS a hardcover book, which is quite a bit more expensive than a ticket would normally be. We realized that some people would have already ordered or bought the book, and some people might not want to have to buy the book and would only want admission to the show. We have now opened up all of the shows to include a general admission ticket that does NOT include a book. I hope this helps clear up any confusion. I hope to see y’all out there! Thank you. The one exception is the @theduckhouston shows in Houston. Those are song swap shows with @marygauthier and the tickets do not include a book- though I will have books for sale.

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“My mama was a great mama,” she said. “And she is why I’m okay. She is why my sister is okay.”

“She never ever let me believe that I was not loved,” she told CBS.

As for her father, the country artist said she feels “nothing but love,” for him.

When asked how she was able to achieve this kind of forgiveness, she replied, “Time. Investigation. Willingness, and having a little boy.”

Moorer’s son, who has autism, has been a source healing for the new mom, as her relationship with her own child has been a way of understanding her father better.

“I got to see and experience a little boy and know that my daddy was one at one time,” she said.

Once her son is old enough to be curious about his family history, Moorer said she will tell him that his grandparents were “troubled and beautiful. Like we all are.”

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Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Phoenix, AZ