The Black Keys receive a Cleveland Arts Prize Award

The story of the name The Black Keys

CLEVELAND - At the 53rd Annual Cleveland Arts Prize Ceremony, The Black Keys won a "Mid-Career Artist  - Music & Dance" award.

The band, Pat Carney and Dan Auerbach, were born and raised in Akron. They still have strong ties to the city and never miss a chance to mention their love for Akron.

"It is a special place, full of special people," said Carney before stepping on stage to accept the award.

One of those special people was Alfred McMoore, a schizophrenic artist for Akron. Both Pat and Dan's father were friends with Alfred and looked out for him.

"He would call people 'D-flats' and I think it is because he associated the black keys on a piano as sounding too distant and not sounding right." Carney recalled. "If he heard something he didn't like or you told him no, he would say stop being a D-flat, stop being a black key."

That black key line stuck with them, and the band The Black Keys was born.

Alfred McMoore passed away in 2009 at age 59. Through their connection with McMoore, Pat and Dan became familiar with the work of Community Support Services. The Akron-based organization helps people with mental illness.

Along with the Cleveland Arts Prize came a $10,000 cash prize, which the band donated to Community Support Services, as part of the Black Keys Alfred McMoore Memorial Fund.

To read more about the life of Alfred McMoore read a story Pat's father, Jim Carney wrote when Alfred passed away.


Print this article Back to Top