From October 1, 2010 through to the end of September 2011, we will, each day, celebrate the life of Bill Monroe by sharing information about him and those people who are associated with his life and music career. This information will include births and deaths; recording sessions; single, LP and CD release dates; and other interesting tidbits. Richard F. Thompson is responsible for the research and compilation of this information. We invite readers to share any tidbits, photos or memories you would like us to include.
- January 10, 1945 Bill Monroe made his performance debut in Miami, Florida. *
- January 10, 1977 LP released – Bill Monroe Sings Bluegrass, Body and Soul (MCA 2251) **
- January 10, 2006 CD released – Bill Monroe – Country Hit Parade: Live (Direct Source 54112) ***
- January 10, 2006 CD released – Bill Monroe / Doc Watson – Bluegrass Legends (Direct Source 53222) ****
* Evidence suggests that this was the time that Bill Monroe purchased his famous Lloyd Loar Master Model F5 mandolin. Monroe is quoted as saying that he bought the mandolin in a barbershop and he paid $125 for it.
** Most of the recordings for Sings Bluegrass, Body and Soul were made at sessions that took place during the previous October. They are the only Monroe cuts to feature the fiddle work of Blaine Sprouse.
The album peaked at No. 37 in the Billboard Country Albums chart, having entered the chart on February 12, 1977.
Track listing – My Sweet Blue Eyed Darlin’, Milenburg Joy, My Louisiana Love, Monroe’s Blues, No Place to Pillow My Head, My Cabin in Caroline, Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine, Lucky Lady, With Body and Soul and My Old Kentucky and You.
Track listing – Blue Moon of Kentucky, Mule Skinner Blues, Uncle Pen, Orange Blossom Special, I Saw the Light, Bluegrass Breakdown, Shady Grove, Prison Song, Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ and Footprints in the Snow.
**** Bill Monroe / Doc Watson – Bluegrass Legends. This is a two-CD set with each artist being featured on one disc each.
Track listing – Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky, Mule Skinner Blues, Uncle Pen, Orange Blossom Special, I Saw the Light, Bluegrass Breakdown, Shady Grove, Prison Song, Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ and Footprints in the Snow.
Doc Watson: Tom Dooley, Rambling Hobo, Worried Blues, Doc’s Tune, Liza Jane, Midnight on the Stormy Deep, What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul, Reuben’s Train, Foggy Mountain Reel and Corn Likker Blues.
The material on the Bill Monroe – Country Hit Parade: Live album and the first disc from the Bill Monroe / Doc Watson – Bluegrass Legends collection is identical. The subdued applause at the beginning and end of the songs seems to be overdubbed.
In contrast, most of the Doc Watson material sounds to be genuine ‘live’ recordings, particularly the two duets – Midnight on the Stormy Deep and What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul – with Bill Monroe. The sound quality on the latter is poor.
Here, Bill Monroe sings With Body and Soul to an attentive audience at the Grand Ole Opry.