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 18, 1920 Raymond Harold ‘Pete’ Pyle was born in Burnsville, Mississippi. *
- April 18, 1963 Terry Wayne Eldredge was born in west Terre Haute, Indiana. **
- April 18, 1964 Bill Monroe recorded Kentucky Mandolin and Lonesome Moonlight Waltz at an Oberlin College, Ohio, concert with Doc Watson. ***
* Pyle replaced Clyde Moody as singer/guitarist in the Blue Grass Boys in 1941. He was only involved with one recording session while with the Blue Grass Boys. However, Pyle’s songs True Life Blues and Highway of Sorrow became bluegrass standards after being recorded by Monroe.
Later, Pyle worked as leader of the house band at Monroe’s Brown County Jamboree at Bean Blossom, Indiana.
He also penned Happy On My Way and Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow, both of which Monroe recorded in the early 1950s.
** Terry Eldredge worked with Bill Monroe on numerous occasions during the early 1990s.
A guitarist and founding member of The Grascals, he began his music playing bass with long-time Grand Ole Opry stars Lonzo and Oscar. He joined the Osborne Brothers in 1988, soon switching to guitar and adding a powerful lead and low tenor voice to the brothers’ legendary trios.
Eldredge took up the bass again when he joined Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time at the end of the 1990s, earning a 2003 IBMA nomination for Bass Player of the Year.
He has two solo albums and has recorded with the Osborne Brothers, Larry Cordle, Dolly Parton – as a member her Blueniques band – and the Sidemen, as well as country music star Dierks Bentley.
“I worked with Mr. Monroe on numerous occasions, mainly at the Grand Ole Opry and a couple festivals. I also filled in for him three times, once at The Grand Ole Opry, once at Opryland Blue Grass festival, and once at his own bluegrass festival at Bean Blossom, Indiana.
He was at Bean Blossom but still very weak after surgery but towards the end of the set he came up to play three or four songs. He was always like that his whole life. If he was around music he would have to get up and play and sing. He was always generous and kind to me, and he told me he liked my singing, thought our voices blended well together. He is a true American legend and it was always an honor to step on stage with him.”
*** The recordings of Kentucky Mandolin and Lonesome Moonlight Waltz are included on the Smithsonian/Folkways album Live Duet Recordings 1963 – 1980, Off the Record Vol. 2 (SF CD 40064).