I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #180

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 29, 1951 Recording session – During a day-time session at Castle Studio (The Tulane Hotel) Bill Monroe recorded Brakeman’s Blues, Travelin’ Blues and When the Cactus is in Bloom for Decca Records. Jimmy Martin [guitar], Rudy Lyle [banjo], Joel Price [bass] and Hal Smith [fiddle] assisted. Paul Cohen was the producer. *
  • March 29, 1976 County session for Kenny Baker – In a session that may have extended over two days Kenny Baker recorded Road to Columbus, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Monroe’s Hornpipe, Cheyenne, Big Sandy River, Stoney Lonesome, Wheel Hoss and Fiddler’s Pastime. Accompanying Baker were Bill Monroe [mandolin], Joe Stuart [guitar], Vic Jordan [banjo] and Randy Davis [bass]. The producer was David Freeman.  **
  • March 29, 1996 As a result of suffering an aneurysm at his home in Madison, Tennessee, Joe Drumright died at the Memorial Hospital in Nashville. He was aged 67.  ***
  • March 29, 2003 Booklet published – Howdy, Folks, Howdy. Compiled by Doug Hutchens.  ****

* Brakeman’s Blues and Travelin’ Blues were paired on a single (Decca 9-46380), released on November 24, 1951. All three songs were from Jimmie Rodgers’ catalog.

** The eight instrumentals are included on the album Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe (County 761), which was released on LP on November 30, 1976, and in CD format on August 19, 1994 (County  2708).

*** Although born in Texas, Joe Drumright grew up in Nashville and was soon playing in Carl Tipton’s band.  Later he played and recorded with Connie (Gately) and Babe (Lofton) – see their Rounder LPs – and with Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper.

Additionally he played on some of Hylo Brown’s Starday and Capitol cuts and on some of the Mac Wiseman recordings for Capitol.

**** Howdy, Folks, Howdy is a 32-page booklet of stories of life on the road with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. Doug Hutchens – a former Blue Grass Boy – gathered up these anecdotes and remembrances of Bill Monroe at a Monroe reunion and has placed them in a modest but neat little booklet with a few photos (of varying quality). Some of those providing recollections are Gordon Terry, Doug Green, Lonnie Hoppers, Carlos Brock, Wayne Lewis and Eddie Adcock, among others.

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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.