I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #136

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 13, 1920 Diadorious Boudleaux Bryant was born in Shellman, Georgia.  *
  • February 13, 1927 James Monroe ‘Jim’ McReynolds was born in Carfax, Virginia.  **
  • February 13, 1945 Recording session – Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys had their first Columbia recording session, at the CBS Studio, Radio Station WBBM, Wrigley Building, Chicago.  They recorded nine numbers: Rocky Road Blues, Kentucky Waltz, True Life Blues, Nobody Loves Me, Goodbye Old Pal, Footprints in the Snow, I’ll Have A New Life, Blue Grass Special and Come Back to Me in My Dreams. With Bill Monroe were Tex Willis [guitar], Dave Akeman [banjo], Howard Watts (Cedric Rainwater) [bass], ‘Sally Ann’ Forester [accordion] and ‘Chubby’ Wise [fiddle]. ‘Curley’ Bradshaw is thought to have played guitar during the session also. The producer was Art Satherley. ***
  • February 13, 1973 Due to a bus breakdown, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys missed their scheduled appearance at KCET-TV, who were scheduled to do a video-taped tribute to Bill Monroe. ****

* Boudleaux Bryant, famed for his song writing, added vocals at the July 18, 1952, recording session. He sang bass on the recording of Walking in Jerusalem, which was included on the LP A Voice from on High (Decca DL7-5135), which was released on June 30, 1969.

**  McReynolds is featured on the Bill Monroe And The Stars Of the Bluegrass Hall Of Fame album (MCA 5625), singing lead on the recording of two songs, On My Way Back To The Old Home and Mighty Dark to Travel.

Additionally, he participated in the recordings at the Bean Blossom Festival (MCA 2-8002) on June 16, 1973, singing lead on I Wonder Where You Are Tonight; and on Are You Lost In Sin?, the recording of which was included on the all-gospel album Cryin’ Holy unto the Lord (MCA 10017), which was released on April 30, 1991.

*** A take of all except that of I’ll Have a New Life were included on LP The Essential Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, 1945 – 1949 (C2K-52478), which was released in 1992.

**** Former Blue Grass Boys Richard Greene, Bill Keith and Peter Rowan joined by David Grisman, Stuart Schulman and Clarence White stepped into the breach, and thus the band Muleskinner was formed.

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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.