I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #194

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 12, 1926 Thomas Edward ‘Edd’ Mayfield was born near Dawn, Texas, 30 miles south-west of Amarillo.  *
  • April 12, 1948 Single released – My Rose Of Old Kentucky / Sweetheart, You Done Me Wrong (Columbia 20423, 38172, 78rpm)
  • April 12, 1996 Bill Monroe was transferred to the Tennessee Christian Medical Center in Madison.
  • April 12, 1999 The Bill Monroe Memorial Annual Bluegrass Festival at Bean Blossom was chosen as a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress. **
  • April 12, 2005 CD released – Monroe Brothers All American Country (Collectables COL 8456) ***
  • April 12, 2007 Book published – The Music of Bill Monroe, written by Neil V. Rosenberg and Charles K. Wolfe, is published by the University of Illinois Press. ****

* Edd Mayfield was the guitarist and lead vocalist for Bill Monroe during three spells from October 1951, replacing Carter Stanley, and ending with his premature death in July 1958.

He participated in 10 recording sessions, singing lead on The First Whippoorwill, I Saw the Light, Lord, Build Me a Cabin in Gloryland, Lord, Lead Me On, Precious Memories, Jesus Hold My Hand and A Beautiful Life, all except The First Whippoorwill being Gospel quartets.

Each of those Gospel numbers are included on the LP I Saw the Light (Decca DL 8769), released on August 11, 1958.

** The first festival took place in 1967 and it has now become the oldest, continuously running annual bluegrass festival in the world.

*** Monroe Brothers All American Country (10 tracks). A budget-priced collection of favorites from the Monroe Brothers. All original recordings.

Track listing – Orange Blossom Special, Darling Corey, Mule Skinner Blues, The Saints Go Marching In, Back Up and Push, Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms, My Long Journey Home, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Just a Song of Old Kentucky and Nine-Pound Hammer Is Too Heavy

***** The Music of Bill Monroe, University of Illinois Press, ISBN-13: 978-0-252-03121-2, 384 pages, Hard back.

Spanning over 1,000 separate performances, The Music of Bill Monroe presents a complete chronological list of all of Bill Monroe’s commercially released sound and visual recordings. Each chapter begins with a narrative describing Monroe’s life and career at that point, bringing in producers, sidemen, and others as they become part of the story. The narratives read like a “who’s who” of bluegrass, connecting Monroe to the music’s larger history and containing many fascinating stories.

The second part of each chapter presents the discography. Information here includes the session’s place, date, time, and producer; master/matrix numbers, song/tune titles, composer credits, personnel, instruments, and vocals; and catalog/release numbers and re-issue data. The only complete bio-discography of this American musical icon, The Music of Bill Monroe is the starting point for any study of Monroe’s contributions as a composer, interpreter, and performer.  (Product Description)

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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.