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.
- February 4, 1906 Art Wooten was born in Sparta, Alleghany County, North Carolina. *
- February 4, 1931 Clarence E ‘Tater’ Tate was born Gate City, Scott County, Virginia. **
- February 4, 1981 Recording session – For the second successive evening Bill Monroe was in the studio to record three instrumentals; in this session he cut Lochwood, Old Danger Field and Fair Play. Assisting were Wayne Lewis [guitar], Butch Robins [banjo], Mark Hembree [bass] and Kenny Baker [fiddle]. The producer was Walter Haynes. ***
He returned for a further stint in 1941 through to 1942.
Wooten was involved in one recording session; that on October 2, 1941, recording eight numbers, including the fiddle tunes Orange Blossom Special and Back Up and Push.
Bill Monroe once said of him, “The old-time fiddle numbers, he was hard to beat”.
He re-joined the Blue Grass Boys in June 1984, switching between playing the bass and the fiddle, and staying with the band for the remainder of Monroe’s career. Tate participated in 11 recording sessions, the first of which was on May 2, 1985.
Tate can be heard playing the bass on the albums Bill Monroe and Stars of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, Bluegrass ’87 and Southern Flavor, and playing the fiddle on Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys Live at the Opry and Crying Holy unto the Lord.
Also, he sang bass on the recording of quartet numbers such as The Old Crossroads, What a Wonderful Life, A Beautiful Life, Harbor of Love and He’ll Take You In.
Tate was sometimes jokingly introduced by Monroe as “Tater Tater Tater Tate”.
*** All three instrumentals were included on the Bill Monroe: Master of Bluegrass LP (MCA -5214), released on July 2, 1981.