I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #113

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 21, 1952 Single released – Raw Hide / Letter from My Darlin’ (Decca 46392, 78rpm) *
  • January 21, 1954 Bill Monroe purchased a 288 acre farm near Goodlettsville, Summer County, Tennessee; just over the line from Davidson County.
  • January 21, 1970 Howard Watts [Cedric Rainwater] died of a heart attack at home in Nashville, Tennessee, age 56. **

* Raw Hide and Letter from My Darlin’ were both recorded about a year earlier (on January 20, 1951).

** Howard Watts, better known by his stage name Cedric Rainwater, was a member of the ‘classic’ line-up of the Blue Grass Boys that included Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and Chubby Wise.

He began his music career in Orlando, Florida, in 1932. However, he moved to Nashville in 1943, adopting the name Cedric Rainwater for some stage comedy roles.

He left the Blue Grass Boys early in 1948 to work with Flatt and Scruggs with whom he stayed for approximately two years. Shortly thereafter he joined Hank Williams’ band, the Drifting Cowboys.

After Williams’ death on January 1, 1953, Rainwater played with other country and bluegrass musicians, including Jimmy Martin, Hank Snow, Ray Price and Ferlin Husky.

During the 1960s he worked as a booking agent and ran a restaurant before joining the re-united Drifting Cowboys to back Hank Williams Jr. in 1969.

His superb timing, tone and 4/4 ‘walking bass’ technique led many of his peers to regard him as the best acoustic bass player in the business.

Rainwater was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame in 2007.

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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.