I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #121

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 29, 1953 Larry Beasley was born. *
  • January 29, 1973 Single released – Tall Pines / Foggy Mountain Top (MCA 40006, 45rpm). **
  • January 29, 2004 The official order designating the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Scenic Byway as part of the Blues to Bluegrass Scenic Byway was authorized by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. ***

* Beasley played banjo for Bill Monroe during the first half of 1977, sandwiched between two spells by Bill Holden.

He is known to have played a fill-in job at Ralph Stanley’s festival in McClure, Virginia, in May 1974 also.

Beasley has his own album release on Alpha and has recorded for the Atteiram label.

He is featured on albums by Carl Story & the Rambling Mountaineers; and played banjo on Charlie Sizemore’s album Back Home (Rebel Records, 1994) and a couple of Gary Brewer’s CDs from the late 1990s.

Beasley is well-known as a very fine banjo teacher in Russell Springs, Kentucky.

**  The recording of Tall Pines features James Monroe singing lead and it was recorded on March 14, 1972. It is an extensively revised version of the master recorded on October 28, 1969.

The recording of Foggy Mountain Top features James Monroe singing lead on the chorus. It was recorded on March 15, 1972.

The musicians who played at the two sessions were Bill Monroe [mandolin], James Monroe [guitar], Jack Hicks [banjo], Monroe Fields [bass] and fiddle players Kenny Baker and Tommy Williams.

Both recordings were included on the LP Bill Monroe and James Monroe: Father & Son (MCA 310), released on March 1, 1973.

*** Some of the sites found along the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Scenic Byway include the Crabb Family Music Group home, Bill Monroe’s old home place, Bill Monroe’s gravesite and monument, Jerusalem Ridge, the Fordsville Railroad Museum, the Hancock County Museum, the International Bluegrass Museum, Riverpark Center, and the Owensboro Museum of Science and History.

The Blues to Bluegrass Scenic Byway is divided into 3 specific trails; the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Trail, the W. C. Handy Blues Trail; and the Merle Travis / Everly Brothers Rock’n’Roll Trail.

The Byways to Barbecue Trail was added later.

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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.