I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky #14

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.

  • October 14, 1966 Recording session – In a late night session at Nashville’s Columbia Recording Studio, Monroe, assisted by Peter Rowan, Lamar Grier, James Monroe and Richard Greene, recorded When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again, and I Wonder Where You Are Tonight, both arranged for three voices, and the instrumental Turkey in the Straw.
  • October 14, 1970 Bill Monroe was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
  • October 14, 2000 The CMA presented a tribute to Bill Monroe during the 75th Anniversary of the first staging of the Grand Ole Opry. The Bill Monroe Bluegrass Celebration (in the Opry House) featured Alison Krauss, The Osborne Brothers, Ralph Stanley, Jim Lauderdale, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and James King.  Monroe was the only musician to be so feted.  Subsequently, this has become a regular feature of the Grand Ole Opry’s annual birthday party.
  • October 14, 2005 Rosetta Monroe Kiper, Monroe’s niece, died. She was the inspiration behind one of Monroe’s greatest songs, Rose of Old Kentucky.

From Bill Monroe’s Country Music Hall of Fame online entry:

As singer, songwriter, bandleader, showman, and instrumentalist, no individual is so closely identified with an American musical style as Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music.

For more than half a century, he shaped bluegrass with his forceful mandolin playing; high, lonesome singing; and mastery of his band, the Blue Grass Boys. In doing so, he gave older country sounds new life; gave the mandolin a new role as a lead instrument in country, pop, and rock; and set standards for musicians as diverse as the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, George Jones, and rock star Jerry Garcia.

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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.