I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #241

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 29, 1916 Carl Story was born in Lenoir, North Carolina.  *
  • May 29, 1948 Jerry McCoury was born. **
  • May 29, 1955 Tim Smith was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland.  ***
  • May 29, 1961 LP released – Bill Monroe – Mr Blue Grass (Decca DL 4080) ****
  • May 29, 1969 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys were among the headline acts at the Folk Festival Of The Smokies, held over three days in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • May 29, 1986 The premier of The Legends Of Bluegrass historic tour was held at the Summer Lights Festival ’86, Nashville, Tennessee. *****

* Carl Story joined the Blue Grass Boys in October 1942 as the replacement for ‘Howdy’ Forrester. He stayed with Bill Monroe playing fiddle for just over a year before being drafted into the forces in October 1943.

He did not feature on any recordings while he was a Blue Grass Boy, but he did sing lead on the recording of True Life Blues, which was included on the album Bill Monroe and the Stars of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame (MCA 5625), which was released on August 19, 1985.

** Jerry McCoury played bass, filling in, during a show on April 2, 1965.

Although a lot less active than his brother, Del, he is well respected throughout the bluegrass business. McCoury has worked with legends such as Don Reno, Red Smiley and Bill Harrell and less-prominent bands such as that led by Scott Brannon.

He has recorded with Reno & Smiley, Red Allen, Del McCoury, John Hartford and Tony Trischka.

*** Tim Smith played fiddle, filling-in, during a show in October 1981.

Smith is perhaps mostly remembered for his service as a member of the Bluegrass Cardinals (1979-1982). He has worked with Jim and Jesse, Del McCoury, the Lost and Found, the Virginia Squires, Wes Golding, The Country Gentlemen, The Churchmen, the Blinky Moon Boys and Rich In Tradition. As well as having four solo albums, he has recorded with James King, The Country Gentlemen, the McPeak Brothers, Jim Eanes, Blue Ridge and The Churchmen.

**** Bill Monroe – Mr Blue Grass, 12 tracks

Track listing – Linda Lou, Little Joe, Seven Year Blues, You Live in a World all your Own, Time Changes Everything, Blue Grass Part One, Big River, Flowers of Love, It’s Mighty Dark to Travel, Sold down the River, Put my Rubber Doll Away and Lonesome Road Blues

***** Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, Ralph Stanley, Jim & Jesse, and Mac Wiseman played periodic dates from May through to September.

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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.