I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #163

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.

  • March 12, 1975 Recording session – During the third of three consecutive days in a recording studio, Bill Monroe recorded Thank God for Kentucky, Reasons Why and Weary Traveler. The accompanying musicians once more were James Monroe and Ralph Lewis [guitar], Bob Black [banjo], Randy Davis [bass] and Kenny Baker and Joe Stuart [fiddle]. The producer was Walter Haynes. *
  • March 12, 1987 Della Scivers Streeter Monroe, Bill Monroe’s second wife, filed for divorce.
  • March 12, 1996 CD released – Bill Monroe – 16 Gems (Columbia Legacy CK 53908) **

* All three recording were included on the LP Weary Traveler (MCA-2173), released on January 5, 1976.

**  Bill Monroe – 16 Gems

When Sony released the splendid two-disc Essential Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys in 1992, they opted to use alternate takes instead of better-known classic readings in a number of cases: 16 to be exact. While the inclusion of these alternates attracted some avid collectors who didn’t own them, the omission of the official takes angered them even more. Thus, in 1996, Sony sought to rectify the situation by releasing this single CD with the 16 omitted official takes. Not only did this appease completists, it also made for a worthy single-disc introduction to Monroe’s landmark recordings and his high-water band with Flatt & Scruggs. These songs are the very cornerstone of the genre.

Marc Greilsamer

Track listing – Kentucky Waltz, True Life Blues, Nobody Loves Me, Goodbye Old Pal, Bluegrass Special, Heavy Traffic Ahead, Summertime Is Past and Gone, I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky, It’s Mighty Dark to Travel, Bluegrass Breakdown, Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong, Old Crossroads, Remember the Cross, Shine Hallelujah, Shine, Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ and Travelin’ This Lonesome Road.

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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.