I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #210

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 28, 1929 Allen Dale Potter [fiddle] was born in Puxico, Missouri.  *
  • April 28, 1963 James R ‘Jimmy’ Campbell was born in Detroit, Michigan.  **
  • April 28, 1981 Recording session – Strings were added to the other tracks for My Last Days on Earth. Bill Monroe assisted producer Walter Haynes.  ***
  • April 28, 1989 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys appeared at the 2nd Annual Merle Watson Memorial Festival, Wilkes Community College Gardens, Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
  • April 28, 1994 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys was the headline band at the Americana Bluegrass Breakout, Mutton Hollow Entertainment Park & Craft Village, Branson, Missouri.

* ‘Mr Double Stop,’ as Dale Potter was known, worked for Bill Monroe from 1959 through to 1960.  He was involved in six recording sessions altogether, firstly helping out on A Good Woman’s Love, Cry Cry Darlin’, Out In the Cold World, Roane County Prison, Goodbye Old Pal, In Despair and Molly and Tenbrooks, as a session musician. Later he played fiddle on the recordings of Lonesome Wind Blues, Come Go With Me, Sold Down the River, Little Joe, Seven Year Blues, Lonesome Road Blues, It’s Mighty Dark To Travel and Blue Grass Part I.

The early recordings were included on the LP Knee Deep in Bluegrass (Decca DL 8731), released on June 23 1958, while the later ones were included on the LP Mr Blue Grass (Decca DL 4080), released on May 29, 1961.

** Jimmy Campbell joined the Blue Grass Boys in 1990 when Billy Rose left and ‘Tater’ Tate switched from fiddle to bass.

He participated in three recording sessions playing fiddle (twinned with ‘Tater’ Tate) on four quartets: Shine Hallelujah Shine, Harbor of Love, Are You Lost in Sin and He’ll Take You In. The last three of these titles are included on Bill Monroe’s last studio album, Cryin’ Holy Unto the Lord (MCA10017), released on 1991

Campbell also played on the recording of one instrumental, Tombstone Junction, during an on-spec session on January 9, 1994, with producer Vic Gabany in charge.

Jimmy was replaced in January 1993 by Robert Bowlin. He passed away from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in 2003.

*** During the second overdub session for the recording of My Last Days on Earth the six members of the Sheldon Kurland Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, George Binkley III, Marvin D Chantry, Roy Christensen, Conni L Ellisor and Dennis W Molchan – added their parts to the famous instrumental.

The recording is featured in the Hollywood film All the Pretty Horses.

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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.