I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #186

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.

  • April 4, 1926 Joe Herman ‘Red’ Hayes was born in Texas. *
  • April 4, 1941 Clifford ‘Cliff’ Waldron was born in Jolo, West Virginia. **
  • April 4, 1965 Winnie Winston filled in for the regular banjo player in the Blue Grass Boys.
  • April 4, 1975 LP released –  Best Of Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys (MCA MCF 2696 (UK)) ***
  • April 4, 1995 CD released – Bill Monroe – Blue Grass 1970-1979 (Bear Family BCD 15606 DI) ****

* ‘Red’ Hayes added a second fiddle at two recording sessions in 1969 and at two more in 1970.

Among the titles on which Hayes played are I haven’t seem Mary in Years, The Dead March, Walk Softly on My Heart, Kentucky Waltz and Lonesome Moonlight Waltz (which actually includes a triple fiddle arrangement involving Hayes, Kenny Baker and Gordon Terry).

Hayes was co-writer, with Jack Rhodes, of one of country music’s most enduring hits A Satisfied Mind.

** Cliff Waldron filled in for the guitar player and lead singer in the Blue Grass Boys for a date in New Jersey during 1970.

Waldron is best known for being one half of the Washington DC based band Emerson & Waldron that introduced the song Fox on the Run to the bluegrass music repertoire.

In 1970 when Emerson joined the Country Gentlemen, Waldron formed the New Shades of Grass and in four years he released seven albums of dynamic contemporary music.

For the next 20 years Waldron worked for the National Park Service and music became a part-time interest.

With the turn of the century Waldron became active musically recording two more albums for Rebel Records with a re-organised New Shades of Grass and a duet project, Higher Ground, with mandolin player Paul Williams.

*** A 20-track collection selected by John Atkins, who also wrote the detailed notes.

Track listing – Mule Skinner Blues, Devil’s Dream, Walking in Jerusalem (just like John), Roanoke, I’m travelling On and On, Blue Moon of Kentucky, I Saw the Light, Get up John, McKinley’s March, Whitehouse Blues, Uncle Pen, Raw Hide, Footprints in the Snow, I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky, Kentucky Mandolin, Molly and Tenbrooks, I’m Working on a Building, My Little Georgia Rose, Don’t Put Off ‘Til Tomorrow, and I’m On My Way Back to the Old Home.

**** Bill Monroe – Blue Grass 1970-1979 (Bear Family BCD 15606 DI), 4-CD-Box and 32-page book, 90 tracks

Bluegrass 1970-1979 is a four-disc box set containing all of Monroe’s 1970s recordings for Decca, including several unreleased cuts and a live album featuring Jim & Jesse, James Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt and Carl Jackson. By the time he made these recordings, Monroe was no longer making any innovations with his music. Instead, he just demonstrated his skill and artistry – the music on Bluegrass 1970-1979 is for aficionados, the kind of listener that can discern subtle differences between supporting bands and solos. Overall, the material on the box isn’t as strong as the previous two box sets, but any Monroe completist will not be disappointed by the set.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Track listing – McKinley’s March [Instrumental], Texas Gallop [Instrumental], Road of Life, It’s Me Again Lord, Beyond the Gate, I Will Sing for the Glory of God, Kentucky Waltz, Girl in the Blue Velvet Band, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz [Instrumental], Tallahassee [Instrumental], Get Up John [Instrumental], Summertime Is Past and Gone, Rocky Road Blues, Mule Skinner Blues, Poor White Folks [Instrumental], Old Gray Mare Came Tearing Out of the Wilderness [Instrumental], Kiss Me Waltz [Instrumental], Jenny Lynn [Instrumental], Heel and Toe Polka [Instrumental], Milenburg Joy [Instrumental], Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong, Banks of the Ohio, Tall Pines, Mother’s Only Sleeping, Foggy Mountain Top, Love Please Come Home, What Would You Give in Exchange, When the Golden Leaves Begin to Fall, Walls of Time, My Old Kentucky and You

Hit Parade of Love – Jimmy Martin, Mary Ann – Jimmy Martin, Sunny Side of the Mountain – Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys, Freeborn Man – Jimmy Martin, Tennessee – Jimmy Martin, Love Please Come Home – James Monroe, Train ’45 [Instrumental] – James Monroe, Bonny – James Monroe, When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again – James Monroe, Ole Slewfoot – Jim & Jesse, Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes – Jim & Jesse, Please Be My Love– Jim & Jesse, I Wish You Knew – Jim & Jesse, Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms – Lester Flatt, Feudin’ Banjos [Instrumental] – Lester Flatt, Ballad of Jed Clampett – Lester Flatt, Mule Skinner Blues, You Won’t Be Satisfied That Way, Uncle Pen, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Roll on Buddy, Roll On, I Wonder Where You Are Tonight, Orange Blossom Special [Instrumental] – Carl Jackson, Down Yonder [Instrumental] – Carl Jackson, Soldier’s Joy [Instrumental] – Carl Jackson, Grey Eagle [Instrumental] – Carl Jackson, and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Carl Jackson

Clinging to a Saving Hand, Show Me the Way, Jerusalem Ridge [Instrumental], Ashland Breakdown [Instrumental], Mary Jane, Won’t You Be Mine, Old, Old House, Watson Blues [Instrumental], Thank God for Kentucky, Reasons Why, Weary Traveler, My Cabin in Caroline, No Place to Pillow My Head, My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darlin’, Monroe’s Blues [Instrumental], First Whippoorwill, Lucky Lady [Instrumental], My Louisiana Love, Christmas Time’s A-Coming, Texas Blue Bonnet [Instrumental], Sunset Trail, My Sweet Memory, She’s Young and I’m Growing Old and Blue Goose [Instrumental]

That’s Christmas Time to Me, Pinewood Valley [Instrumental], My Florida Sunshine, Wabash Cannonball, Hard Times Have Been Here (But They’ve Gone), Six Feet Under the Ground, Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet, Jake Satterfield, Muddy Waters, Corrina, Corrina, Have a Feast Here Tonight, Golden River, I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky, Those Memories of You, Intro – (Watermelon Hangin’ on the Vine), Rocky Road Blues, Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake, In Despair, Molly and Tenbrooks Medley: Little Maggie/Train 45/Blue Moon of Kentucky, John Henry, Dog House Blues, Old Mountaineer [Instrumental], Little Cabin Home on the Hill, Orange Blossom Special and Y’all Come.

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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.