Scruggs joined a highly accomplished group that included singer/guitarist Lester Flatt, and would soon include fiddler Chubby Wise, and bassist Howard Watts, who often performed under the name "Cedric Rainwater". He seldom sang lead vocals on his Victor recordings, often preferring to contribute high tenor harmonies as he had in the Monroe Brothers. Though the lineup of the Blue Grass Boys changed over the years, Monroe always remained devoted to bluegrass in its purest form. Some of Monroe's band members who went on to greater prominence include singer/guitarists Clyde Moody, Lester Flatt, Jack Cook, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Roland White, Roland Dunn and Doug Green; banjo players Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, Sonny Osborne, and Bill Keith; and fiddlers Tommy Magness, Chubby Wise, Vassar Clements, Byron Berline, Kenny Baker, Bobby Hicks, Gordon Terry, and Glen Duncan. Bluegrass festivals became common, with fans often traveling long distances to see a number of different acts over several days of performances.In 1967 Monroe himself founded an annual bluegrass festival at Bean Blossom in southern Indiana, a park he had purchased in 1951, which routinely attracted a crowd of thousands; a double LP from the festival featuring Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt, and Jim and Jesse was released in 1973. He would often say of new bands that did not perform to his standards, "That ain't no part of nothin'." William Smith Monroe, famous as Bill Monroe, was an American musician who created a sub-genre of Country music known as the ‘Bluegrass music’ which gained much support and love in urban areas already flooded with the country music, encountering occasional pop tides. Guitarists included none other than Jimmy Martin from 1950-1954, then Carter Stanley (briefly) before Eddie Mayfield, Jackie Phelps, and Doug Kershaw signed on. A 1945 session for Columbia Records featured an accordion, soon dropped from the band. Maybe the song they were playing came from the repertoire of the Grateful Dead. All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. It took him almost four months to recover and resume touring. In this period, Akeman had additional gigs, teaming up with Willie Egbert Westbrook as "String Beans and Cousin Wilbur," a comedy duo that worked on the same bills with Monroe's band. Bill Monroe. On a chilly autumn afternoon in November 1985, the “Father of Bluegrass” returned to his farm in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, after having lunch with his wife, Della, at nearby Mason’s Restaurant. He invented the style, invented the name, and for the great majority of the 20th century, embodied the art form. Charlie Cline played fiddle banjo, guitar and probably bass. David Dougherty - filled in and played banjo for Bill Monroe on Johnny Cash's TV show in December in 1972. For more than half a century, being a [1] [2] Contents ... (Bill played shortstop) Many of his songs were autobiographical (“Letter from My Darling,” “Little Georgia Rose,” “Uncle Pen,” etc.) One such performance includes Alison Brown playing Earl Scruggs’s 1930 Gibson RB-Granada banjo, Ricky Skaggs playing Bill Monroe’s 1923 Gibson F-5 mandolin, and Marty Stuart playing Lester Flatt’s 1950 Martin D-28 guitar. He also played on one recording session as a Blue Grass Boy, laying down eight tracks in February 1945. Here’s a great interview with Bobby about the early days with Bill Monroe. In 1938, Bill formed his own band, the Blue Grass Boys (named after his home state of Kentucky.) “Bill Monroe Mandolin Vandalized” was the headline in the country music community. Older brothers Charlie and Birch played the guitar and fiddle, respectively, so Bill took up the smaller mandolin to join his family's informal string band. Biography. Skaggs was only six years old when he first got to perform on stage with Monroe and his band. Feel free to contribute! Monroe tended to recruit promising young musicians who served an apprenticeship with him before becoming accomplished artists in their own right. The guitarist has little opportunity for inserting much lead playing into Bluegrass songs when playing rhythm, but there are places where there are opportunities for short licks. One of his most extravagant projects has been “What if Mozart had played with Bill Monroe; a concerto for violin and orchestra”. Monroe, who had suffered injuries to his back, left arm and nose, was rushed to General Hospital in Nashville. Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams Sr., and Johnny Cash are the only other performers honored in all three. Birch Monroe and Larry Moore soon left the group, and Bill and Charlie carried on as a duo, eventually winning spots performing live on radio stations— first in Indiana and then, sponsored by Texas Crystals, on several radio broadcasts in Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina and North Carolina 1934 to 1936. A new version of Last.fm is available, to keep everything running smoothly, please reload the site. Pseudonyms used by Monroe as a composer:Joe Ahr; Rupert Jones; Wilbur Jones; Albert Price; James B. Smith; James W. Smith. Over the years, Monroe 's band hosted all of the major bluegrass artists of the '50s and '60s, including Flatt & Scruggs, Reno & Smiley, Vassar Clements, Carter Stanley, and Mac Wiseman. But it was the group, formed in 1946—Lester Flatt (guitar), Earl Scruggs (banjo), Cedric Rainwater (bass), Chubby Wise (fiddle), with Monroe playing mandolin—that defined the classic bluegrass quintet. Another important early musical … Bassists Ernie Newton and Bessie … Most importantly, while Monroe added banjo player David "'Stringbean" Akeman to the Blue Grass Boys in 1942, Akeman played the instrument in a relatively primitive style and was rarely featured in instrumental solos. Monroe characterized the genre as: " Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. Crowe and the New South before starting his own band Kentucky Thunder. Born: 12/20/1922 Died: 11/17/1999 As a Blue Grass Boy: Wilene "Billie" Forrester, nicknamed "Sally Ann" by Bill Monroe, was the first woman to play with the Blue Grass Boys and the only accordion player.She toured with Monroe for several years during World War II. More than 150 musicians played in the Blue Grass Boys over the nearly 60 years of Monroe's performing career. The song and video was “Country Boy,” the title track of Skaggs’ 1984 album. His well-known song "Blue Moon of Kentucky" has been covered not only by bluegrass but also rock and country artists, most notably Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, and Patsy Cline. Monroe's pre-1946 recordings represent a transitional style between the string-band tradition from which he came and the musical innovation to follow. He was so influential: I think he's probably the only musician that had a whole style of music named after his band". Accordingly, at the first bluegrass festival organized by Carlton Haney at Roanoke, Virginia in 1965, Bill Monroe was the central figure.The growing national popularity of Monroe's music during the 1960s was also apparent in the increasingly diverse background of musicians recruited into his band. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Bluegrass 1950-1958 - Bill Monroe on AllMusic ... are the musicians who played with Monroe during those very fertile and adventurous years. He stated, "I think Bill Monroe's importance to American music is as important as someone like Robert Johnson was to blues, or Louis Armstrong. The NPR 100 The Story Of 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown' Scruggs played in Bill Monroe 's Blue Grass Boys band, and later led Flatt & Scruggs with guitarist Lester Flatt. Bill Monroe had seen a lot of troubles in his days, but nothing could have prepared him for this. Bluegrass was further developed by musicians who played with Monroe, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. Even those who question the scope of bluegrass refer to Monroe as a "musical giant" and recognize that "there would be no bluegrass without Bill Monroe.". Monroe is the only actor in The Bill whose character and actor are both dead. Non-southerners who served as Blue Grass Boys during this period included banjo player Bill Keith and singer/guitarist Peter Rowan from Massachusetts, fiddler Gene Lowinger from New York, banjo player Lamar Grier from Maryland, banjo player Steve Arkin from New York, and singer/guitarist Roland White and fiddler Richard Greene from California. They scored an immediate hit single with the gospel song "What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul?" He always considered himself the father and caretaker of bluegrass. In 1939 he joined the Grand Ole Opry and was a member until his death in 1996. Bill Monroe (September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) developed the style of country music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for his home state of Kentucky. In 2003, CMT had Bill Monroe ranked No. This band recorded a number of bluegrass classics, including "My Little Georgia Rose", "On and On", "Memories of Mother and Dad", and "Uncle Pen", as well as instrumentals such as "Roanoke", "Big Mon", "Stoney Lonesome", "Get Up John" and the mandolin feature "Raw Hide". It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. As the "father of bluegrass", he was also an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991. Uncle Pen has been credited with giving Monroe "a repertoire of tunes that sank into Bill's aurally trained memory and a sense of rhythm that seeped into his bones." I’m not sure how you follow that. Kenneth Clayton Baker (June 26, 1926 – July 8, 2011) was an American fiddle player best known for his 25-year tenure with Bill Monroe and his group The Blue Grass Boys. He recalled that his brothers insisted he should remove four of the mandolin's eight strings so he would not play too loudly.Monroe's mother died when he was ten, followed by his father six years later. Monroe also regularly performed with flat-picking guitar virtuoso Doc Watson.Modern bluegrass singer and mandolin player Ricky Skaggs was influenced by Monroe. William Smith Monroe (1911-1996) The youngest of eight children, Bill Monroe was born near Rosine, Kentucky, on September 13, 1911. While still a mainstay on the Grand Ole Opry, Monroe found diminishing success on the singles charts, and struggled to keep his band together in the face of declining demand for live performances. Cash once called Mr. Terry "a dear friend for years" and described him as "one of a kind." Since their debut in 1997, Kentucky Thunder have become one of the most respected bands in contemporary bluegrass. Monroe then left Little Rock for Atlanta, Georgia, to form the first edition of the Blue Grass Boys with singer/guitarist Cleo Davis, fiddler Art Wooten, and bassist Amos Garren. Skaggs was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. Bill Monroe, byname of William Smith Monroe, (born Sept. 13, 1911, Rosine, Ky., U.S.—died Sept. 9, 1996, Springfield, near Nashville, Tenn.), American singer, songwriter, and mandolin player who invented the bluegrass style of country music.. Monroe was born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children of James Buchanan "Buck" and Malissa (Vandiver) Monroe. He was in the first of the ‘triple fiddle” line-ups, though when Monroe realised that Hicks could play perfect double stops, one of the other fiddlers was … Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass. Even after the folk revival faded in the mid-1960s, it left a loyal audience for bluegrass music. These typically occur in turnarounds between verses. The singers or lead … Wilene "Sally Ann" Forrester (accordion - 1943-3/1946) Publicity photo circa 1944. He was one of nine children. Together with a friend Larry Moore, they formed the "Monroe Brothers", to play at local dances and house parties. Artists that claimed to be influenced by or to be playing the bluegrass genre were often bullied by Bill Monroe. In 1949, after signing with Decca Records, Monroe quickly regrouped, entering the "golden age" of his career with what many consider the classic "high lonesome" version of the Blue Grass Boys, featuring the lead vocals and rhythm guitar of Jimmy Martin, the banjo of Rudy Lyle (replacing Don Reno), and fiddlers such as Merle "Red" Taylor, Charlie Cline, Bobby Hicks and Vassar Clements. Monroe recorded that song, along with seven others, at his first solo recording session for RCA Victor in 1940; by this time, the Blue Grass Boys consisted of singer/guitarist Clyde Moody, fiddler Tommy Magness, and bassist Bill Wesbrooks.While the fast tempos and instrumental virtuosity characteristic of bluegrass music are apparent even on these early tracks, Monroe was still experimenting with the sound of his group. By this point, Monroe had acquired the 1923 Gibson F5 model "Lloyd Loar" mandolin which became his trademark instrument for the remainder of his career.The 28 songs recorded by this version of the Blue Grass Boys for Columbia Records in 1946 and 1947 soon became classics of the genre, including "Toy Heart", "Blue Grass Breakdown", "Molly and Tenbrooks", "Wicked Path of Sin", "My Rose of Old Kentucky", "Little Cabin Home on the Hill", and Monroe's most famous song, "Blue Moon of Kentucky". On that album, Monroe recorded a number of traditional fiddle tunes he had often heard performed by Vandiver. 16 on CMT 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Scruggs played the instrument with a distinctive three-finger picking style that immediately caused a sensation among Opry audiences. Inside are cherished family belongings, early 20th century-vintage furnishings, and rare photographs of Bill Monroe and two brothers who also played music professionally, Birch Monroe and Charlie Monroe. In 1929, Monroe moved to Indiana to work at an oil refinery with his brothers Birch and Charlie, and childhood friend and guitarist William "Old Hickory" Hardin. He also played for Emmylou Harris and J.D. His mother and her brother, Pendleton "Pen" Vandiver, were both musically talented, and Monroe and his family grew up playing and singing at home. This experience inspired one of Monroe's most famous compositions, "Uncle Pen", recorded in 1950, and the 1972 album, Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen. Bill was of Scottish heritage. The last-named was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1954, appearing as the B-side of his first single for Sun Records. Several gospel-themed numbers are credited to the "Blue Grass Quartet", which featured four-part vocal arrangements accompanied solely by mandolin and guitar – Monroe's usual practice when performing "sacred" songs.Both Flatt and Scruggs left Monroe's band in early 1948, soon forming their own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys, which met with notable commercial success in the 1950s and 1960s with such hits as "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", "Cabin on the Hill", and "The Ballad of Jed Clampett". Fair Play: Bill Monroe: Instrumental: 1981-02-04: Farewell Blues: Paul Mares, Leon Roppolo, Elmer Schoebel: Instrumental: 1990-07-07: Farewell to Long Hollow: Bill Monroe: Instrumental: Monroe's Farewell to Long Hollow: Farther Along: traditional: Gospel: 1962-11-23: Farther On: Feast Here Tonight: The Prairie Ramblers: Song: 1963-05-14: Have a Feast Here Tonight and Rabbit in the Log: Festival … Leave feedback. It was with Bill Monroe who he first appeared on records. William Smith Monroe was born on his family's farm near Rosine, Kentucky, the youngest of eight children of James Buchanan "Buck" and Malissa (Vandiver) Monroe. The annual Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is now the world's oldest continuously running annual bluegrass festival.Monroe's compositions during his later period were largely instrumentals, including "Jerusalem Ridge", "Old Dangerfield" (originally spelled Daingerfield after town in East Texas), and "My Last Days on Earth"; he settled into a new role as a musical patriarch who continued to influence younger generations of musicians. Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys on Johnny Cash TV Show performing "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Monroe, Haggard, Cash, Young He played with Bill Monroe, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Faron Young. Just down the road, in Rosine cemetery, Bill, his mother and father, and all of his brothers and … He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as an "early influence") in 1997. It's origin is attributed to the great Lester Flatt, who played with Bill Monroe and later with his long time friend Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. that first publicly referred to Monroe as the "father" of bluegrass. Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys lasted 58 years and saw more than 150 different musicians pass through the band. Ricky Skaggs started his career playing with Bill Monroe before joining Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys. He recalled that his brothers insisted he … Bill Monroe had a hard time keeping musicians in his in band for very long. Bill Monroe (September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) was an American mandolinist who helped create the style of music known as bluegrass. In June, 1985, at Shoney’s Restaurant in Nashville, paid the tab for lunch at the meeting that led to formation of the International Bluegrass Music … Sure, the banjo player was playing in a style popularized by Earl Scruggs. “Bill Monroe: King of BlueGrass Music,” interview with Doug Benson in Ewing, Tom, The Bill Monroe Reader, 2000. Wayne Shrubsall, Nov 1, 1974 at the First (and last) Bill Monroe Arizona Bluegrass Festival in Payson Arizona. He played a key role in folk music revival and revolutionized the music style of that time by mixing elements of old-time string … RCA Victor signed the Monroe Brothers to a recording contract in 1936. He died on September 9, 1996, only four days before his 85th birthday. ... During World War II he added the banjo, first played by David “Stringbean” Akeman, and experimented briefly with the accordion and harmonica, which complemented the basic mandolin-guitar-fiddle-bass combination he … Under the influence of Ralph Rinzler, a young musician and folklorist from New Jersey who briefly became Monroe's manager in 1963, Monroe gradually expanded his geographic reach beyond the traditional southern country music circuit. Bobby Osborne tells his Bill Monroe #mandolin pickup story when he played at the Ryman Auditorium for Glen Duncan #bluegrassmusic #bluegrass One thing we’re blessed to have at #monroemandolincamp is the stories from folks who knew and played with #billmonroe personally. And his strong rhythm guitar playing helped make bluegrass music the identifiable entity that it is. His mother and her brother, Pendleton "Pen" Vandiver, were both musically talented, and Monroe and his family grew up playing and singing at home. Click for full version. As his brothers and sisters had moved away, after bouncing among uncles and aunts, Monroe settled in with his disabled uncle Pendleton Vandiver, often accompanying him when Vandiver played the fiddle at dances. Rinzler was also responsible for a lengthy profile and interview in the influential folk music magazine Sing Out! Bill Monroe And The Blue Grass Boys* Featuring Del McCoury, Bill Keith, Joe Stuart & Bessie Lee* With Special Guests Bea Lilly & Melissa Monroe: Bill Monroe And The Blue Grass Boys* Featuring Del McCoury, Bill Keith, Joe Stuart & Bessie Lee* With Special Guests Bea Lilly & Melissa Monroe - Live At Mechanics Hall ‎ (HDCD, Album) Acoustic Disc Monroe recorded two albums of duets in the 1980s; the first featured collaborations with country stars such as Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, and the Oak Ridge Boys, while the second paired him with other prominent bluegrass musicians. In the meantime Charlie Cline and Jimmy Martin kept the band together.By the late 1950s, however, Monroe's commercial fortunes had begun to slip. In 1939 he joined the Grand Ole Opry and was a member until his death in 1996. Many college students and other young people were beginning to discover Monroe, associating his style more with traditional folk music than with the country-and-western genre with which it had previously been identified. Below is a list of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys who played with the band throughout the decades, men who proudly called themselves a “Blue Grass Boy.”. Monroe gave his blessing to Presley's rock-and-roll cover of the song, originally a slow ballad in waltz time, and in fact re-recorded it himself with a faster arrangement after Presley's version became a hit. BOBBY HICKS From the “banjo State” of North Carolina, Hicks was with Bill Monroe from 1954-57. Monroe suffered a stroke in April 1996, effectively ending his touring and playing career. The rise of rock-and-roll and the development of the "Nashville sound" in mainstream country music both represented threats to the viability of bluegrass. Monroe recorded two albums of duets in the 1980s; the first featured collaborations with country stars such as Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, and the Oak Ridge Boys, while the second paired him with other prominent bluegrass musicians. On April 7, 1990, Monroe performed for Farm Aid IV in Indianapolis, Indiana along with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and with many other artists. Bill had wanted "Old Hickory" to become one of the original members of his "Blue Grass Boys", however William Hardin had to decline. The genre takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys", named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. For more than half a century, being a Blue Grass Boy was the crowning achievement of many musicians’ careers; for others, a stepping stone to establishing their own bands. A key development occurred in Monroe's music with the addition of North Carolina banjo prodigy Earl Scruggs to the Blue Grass Boys in December 1945. Connect your Spotify account to your Last.fm account and scrobble everything you listen to, from any Spotify app on any device or platform. Beginning with his Blue Grass Boys in the '40s, Monroe defined a hard-edged style of country that emphasized instrumental virtuosity, close vocal harmonies, and a fast, driving tempo. A 1989 live album celebrated his 50th year on the Grand Ole Opry. Because his older brothers Birch and Charlie already played the fiddle and guitar, Bill Monroe was resigned to playing the less desirable mandolin. Arm and nose, was rushed to General Hospital in Nashville career playing with Monroe. Everything running smoothly, please reload the site larry Beasley - at at! And caretaker of bluegrass his death in 1996 1945 session for Columbia Records featured an,! 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