I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #235

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 23, 1925 Malcolm B ‘Mac’ Wiseman was born in Crimora, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. *
  • May 23, 1925 Lucky Eugene Saylor was born in Rose Hill, Lee County, Virginia.  **
  • May 23, 2006 Bill Monroe was named as a winner of the Pioneer Award at the 41st Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

* Mac Wiseman joined the Blue Grass Boys in April 1949 and remained with the band until December of that year.

He participated in one recording session, in October 1949, but was featured on two fine duets, Travelin’ this Lonesome Road and the first recording of the classic Can’t You Hear Me Calling.

Prior to that Wiseman worked with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and played on their first recording session.

Wiseman’s professional career began as a bass player for Molly O’Dell in 1946. After leaving Monroe, he performed as a solo act, performing both bluegrass and country at various times. He played on the Louisiana Hayride and became a popular act on the Old Dominion Barn Dance on KRVA in Richmond, Virginia.

During the 1960s, Wiseman had successful concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

He has a vast catalogue of recordings spread across over 50 years. His Dot recording of Jimmy Brown the Newsboy reached No. 5 in the Billboard Country Music Charts in 1959.

Wiseman has also been active in the business side of music, as an A&R man for Dot Records, a founder of the Country Music Association, as Chairman of R.O.P.E. and secretary-treasurer of the musicians’ union in Nashville.

He is a member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame (inducted in 1984), the SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Greats (1987) and the IBMA Hall of Honor (1993).

** Lucky Saylor played guitar for the Blue Grass Boys for a couple of months in 1956. A lifelong musician, Saylor played with many other pioneers of bluegrass through the years.