I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #216

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.

  • May 4, 1946 Kentucky Waltz (Columbia 36907) peaked at No. 3 in the Billboard country singles music chart. In terms of chart position, this was Bill Monroe’s most successful single release.
  • May 4, 1966 Bill Monroe recorded playing Fire on the Mountain in concert as New York’s Gaslight Cafe, later released on Smithsonian/Folkways.
  • May 4, 1976 Recording session – At the Nugget Recording Studio in Nashville, Bill Monroe recorded Uncle Pen, Footprints in the Snow, Jerusalem Ridge, I’m Working on a Building, Mary Jane, Won’t You Be Mine, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Dear Old Dixie and It’s Me Again Lord for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s series Country Roads. Accompanying Bill Monroe for this session were James Monroe [guitar], Bob Jones [guitar], Bob Black [banjo], Randy Davis [bass] and Kenny Baker [fiddle]. Ira Stewart was the producer and Vic Mullen was the MC. *
  • May 4, 1983 Recording session – During an evening session at Burns Station Sound studio Bill Monroe and Barbara Mandrell [vocal/Dobro] recorded My Rose of Old Kentucky. Wayne Lewis [guitar], Kenneth W. Lewis [guitar], Blake Williams [banjo], Mark Hembree [bass], Kenny Baker [fiddle] and Buddy Spicher [fiddle] provided additional instrumental support. The producer was Walter Haynes. **
  • May 4, 1992 Hubert Davis died, age 87, in Nashville’s Memorial Hospital, after a heart attack. ***

* These eight recordings were later released in 1982 on an LP Live Radio (Country Road CR 02).

** The recording is included on the LP Bill Monroe and Friends (MCA-5435), released on January 12, 1984.

*** Davis, who featured in just one recording session as a studio musician, was buried at the Spring Hill Cemetery, in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the early 1950s Davis played banjo with Hack Johnson and The Tennessean’s. About that time he recorded on some of Jim Eanes’ Decca cuts also.

He is best known for leading the Season Travelers that recorded a couple of albums for the Texas-based Stoneway label, and later had three LPs on the RHD label. Davis continued to perform with the Season Travelers at the Bluegrass Inn, his own bluegrass night club in Nashville, until his death.