I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #111

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 19, 1970 Recording Session – Bill Monroe recorded two instrumentals, McKinley’s March and Texas Gallop, at an evening session at Bradley’s Barn, Mount Juliet. The producer was Harry Silverstein. Bill Monroe was assisted by James Monroe [guitar], Rual Yarbrough [banjo] and Joe Zinkan [bass], Kenny Baker and Tommy Williams [who both played the fiddle]. *
  • January 19, 1974 Bean Blossom, the 2 LP set, debuted on the Billboard Hot Country LPs music sales chart. The set peaked at No. 17 and spent 14 weeks on the chart. (MCA 8002 (2) )

* The recording of McKinley’s March was coupled with that of Walk Softly on My Heart and released on a single (Decca 32654) on March 9, 1970.

Texas Gallop
was included on Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen LP (Decca DL 7-5348) released on June 1, 1972.

The leader of California-based High Country and Bill Monroe acolyte, Butch Waller says this about one of his favorite Bill Monroe songs …..

When the Golden Leaves Begin to Fall… because it makes what hair I have left stand up, and the imagery is so wonderful. I visited Bill at the farm a few years before he died…it was in the Fall and he was obviously feeling his age and not feeling too well. We were sitting outside this brisk October day, and I remember he gave a shiver and pulling his jacket around him, remarked with a sense of foreboding, and with his farmer’s attunement to the seasons, that it was going to be a cold Winter.

“Winter time is so cold in the mountains/ The ground will soon be covered with snow/ How I long to keep the home fires burning/ For I know my darlin’ needs me so.” ”

Editor’s note: January 19 also marks an historic date in bluegrass not related to Bill Monroe. It was on this date in 1963 that The Ballad Of Jed Clampett by Flatt & Scruggs hit #1 on the Billboard country music chart.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.