Bill Monroe ’50-’51 Decca recordings, with outtakes, on CD

Attention Bill Monroe fans, and serious students of the early days of bluegrass.

Richard Weize Archives is set to release a new, 5-CD set of Bill Monroe recordings encompassing all the tracks he cut for Decca in 1950 and 1951. And when they say all, they aren’t kidding. Included are important sessions with Jimmy Martin and Carter Stanley as lead vocalist, with all the alternate takes captured in the studio.

For any analyst of Monroe’s music, hearing these outtakes 65 years after the fact, remastered for CD from the original studio master, is plainly a dream come true. Mandolinists will challenge themselves to study the subtle differences between multiple takes of Bluegrass Ramble and Rawhide, and who wouldn’t enjoy studying the various recordings of classics like Muleskinner Blues, Cabin of Love, or Christmas Time’s A-Coming to see why they picked the final version that went to press.

The box set, Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys – Castle Studio 1950-1951, Complete Sessions, is packaged like an old 78 rpm album, with extensive notes from Dick Spottswood, a revised discography by Neil Rosenberg, and remembrances from Blue Grass Boys fiddler Charlie Smith who started with Bill a few years after these sessions were cut.

A full track listing is shown on the Richard Weize Archives web site.

Only 1000 of these box sets will be produced, selling for 79.99 € (roughly $85 US), and releasing on February 24. Pre-orders are available now online, and one would expect these to sell through quickly. Don’t hesitate if you would like one for your library.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.