I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #258

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.

  • June 15, 1925 Henry Newton ‘Tommy’ Vaden Sr was born in Nashville, Tennessee.  *
  • June 15, 1960 Terry Smith was born in Reidsville, North Carolina. **
  • June 15, 1964 LP released – I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (Decca DL 4537) ***
  • June 15, 1978 LP released – Bill & James Monroe: Together Again (MCA 2367). ****
  • June 15, 1990 Recording session at Bill Monroe’s Brown County Jamboree, Route 135, Bean Blossom, Indiana. While en-route to Bean Blossom on the Blue Grass Special bus Bill Monroe, assisted by Blake Williams [banjo], recorded Blue Moon of Kentucky. Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys recorded Love Please Come Home, Willie Moore, Blue Grass Breakdown, Mule Skinner Blues, Kentucky Waltz, Southern Flavor, The Old Cross Road, Northern White Clouds, Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine, Y’all Come, Old Joe Clark and (Theme) Watermelon on the Vine, I’m On My Way Back to the Old Home, O-hio, Sugarloaf Mountain, My Rose of Old Kentucky, Blue Moon of Kentucky, The Old, Old House, Tombstone Junction, Take Courage Un’ Tomorrow, The Long Bow, Ragtime Annie, Shenandoah Breakdown, Dog House Blues, Raw Hide, Watermelon On The Vine and John Henry / Mule Skinner Blues. Making up the Blue Grass Boys during these sets were Tom Ewing [guitar], Blake Williams [banjo], Tater Tate [fiddle] and Billy Rose [bass].  *****

* Tommy Vaden filled-in, playing bass, during the Christmas period in 1958.

** Terry Smith, the younger of the two sons of Hazel Smith, worked on Bill Monroe’s Goodlettsville farm as a 14 year old.

Monroe did his last recordings – on February 21, 1996 – with Billy and Terry Smith (K-Tel KT 3642-2).

Currently, Smith is the bass player with The Grascals.

Prior to that he played in the Smith family band and got further grounding in bluegrass music working for Jimmy Martin, Wilma Lee Cooper, and the Osborne Brothers.

*** I’ll Meet You in Church Sunday Morning, 12 tracks

Track listing – I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning, Drifting Too Far From The Shore, Master Builder, I Found The Way, We’ll Understand It Better, Let Me Rest At The End Of My Journey, Going Home, One Of God’s Sheep, Way Down Deep In My Soul, On The Jericho Road, Farther Along and Gloryland Way.

(re-issued on MCA-226)

**** Bill & James Monroe: Together Again, 10 tracks

Track listing – Six Feet Under The Ground, Hard Times Have Been Here, Corrine Corrina, Muddy Waters, Those Memories Of You, I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky, Jake Satterfield, Have A Feast Here Tonight, Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet and Golden River.

(re-issued on MCA-633)

***** These recordings were made by Steve Gebhardt for his documentary film Bill Monroe: Father of American Bluegrass (First released in VHS format by Original Cinema, OC-1001), released on May 31, 1993.

Some were also released as audio tracks on the Copper Creek album Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys Live, Vol. 1 (distributed as RHY-1015 by Rural Rhythm), released on February 19, 2002.

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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.