I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #171

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 20, 1946 Douglas B. Green was born in Great Lakes, Illinois. *
  • March 20, 1958 Recording session – During an evening session at Bradley Film & Recording Studio Bill Monroe recorded I’ve Found a Hiding Place, Jesus Hold My Hand and I Am A Pilgrim for Decca. Edd Mayfield [guitar] and Bessie Lee Mauldin [bass] accompanied Monroe [mandolin], while Monroe and Mayfield shared the lead and tenor parts, and Kenny Baker [baritone] and Culley Holt [bass] round out the vocal quartet.
  • March 20, 1961 LP released – The Great Bill Monroe (Harmony HL 7290 / HL 11335) **
  • March 20, 1963 Recording session – During a day-time session at the Columbia Recording Studio Bill Monroe recorded Salt Creek, Devils Dream, Sailor’s Hornpipe and Were You There When They Crucified My Lord. It was Brad (Bill) Keith’s first session, a booking made a little over a week after he had joined the Blue Grass Boys. Also sitting in were Benny Williams [guitar], Bessie Lee Mauldin [bass] and Kenny Baker [fiddle]. The producer was Harry Silverstein.
  • March 20, 1982 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys performed at The Grand Opera House presentation of their 1st Annual Grand Bluegrass Festival at the Grand Opera House, 818 Market Street Mall, Wilmington, Delaware.
  • March 20, 1995 Red Clay session for Jimmy Campbell – Bill Monroe recorded with Jimmy Campbell in Nashville, Tennessee for a Campbell project.  ***
  • March 20, 2005 Forrest Rose died suddenly at a jam session in Phoenix, Arizona, aged 48.  ****

* Doug Green served two terms as a Blue Grass Boy; in 1967, while between his junior and senior year of college, he played guitar and sang lead, and then as the bass player for about four months during the summer of 1969. He also played bass – deputising for James Monroe – during one show at Sunset Park in Pennsylvania, shortly after graduating and moving to Nashville in the early summer of 1968.

He was not involved in any studio recordings, but was among the Blue Grass Boys playing at the 3rd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival held on The Mall in Washington DC on July 3, 1969. Green can be heard playing bass on the recording of Uncle Pen that was included on the albums Festival of American Folklife, Vol. 1 (FAF Vol. 1) and Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass (sic) Boys: Live Recordings 1956 – 1969, Off the Record Vol. 1 (Smithsonian Folkways CD 40063).

For over 30 years Green (aka Ranger Doug) has been a leading light in the western group Riders In The Sky, writing songs, playing guitar, singing lead and baritone vocals, and demonstrating exceptional ability as a yodeler.

** Bill Monroe – The Great Bill Monroe 10 tracks from the mid-1940s Columbia material.

Track listing – Rocky Road Blues, Kentucky Waltz, Footprints In The Snow, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Mother’s Only Sleeping, Bluegrass Stomp, My Rose Of Old Kentucky, Bluegrass Breakdown, Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ and Girl In The Blue Velvet Band

*** During a session at Nashville’s Top of the Hill Studio Bill Monroe played mandolin on the recording of a dozen instrumentals many of which Monroe had written. They included the first studio recordings of four Monroe originals; Lonesome Old Farmer, Woodstock Hornpipe, Fiddler’s Blues and Chilly Winds of Shannon.

All 12 recordings are included on the album Pieces of Time (Red Clay RC-CD113), released in November 1996.

**** A bass player, Forrest Rose was a member of the quintet Perfect Strangers (Chris Brashear, Bob Black, Jody Stecher, Peter McLaughlin and Forrest Rose) who, after a show in Avondale, Arizona, were playing at a friend’s house when he had a seizure. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

He also played with the Buckhannon Brothers and in the Rank Sinatras, as well as other groups.

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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.