I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #285

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.

  • July 12, 1870 Malissa Ann Vandiver was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, the youngest of ten children, to Joseph M and Manerva J Vandiver.  *
  • July 12, 1948 Single released – I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling / Little Cabin Home On The Hill (Columbia 20459)
  • July 12, 1980 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys made a personal appearance at the Joe Connors presentation of the ‘Bluegrass Festival 80’ at Vernon Valley / Great Gorge, Great Gorge South, Vernon, New Jersey.
  • July 12, 2007 CD released – Stanley Brothers Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe (Gusto GT-0547) **

* The Monroe brothers credit their mother with being the origin for their musical talent. She played accordion and fiddle and was reputedly an excellent musician.

Bill Monroe said this about his mother  ..

My mother could play fiddle … , but she didn’t play it like Uncle Pen could play. She had a good high, clear voice – I could hear her singing around home, you know. She could dance the old-time backstep and that kind of stuff …”

[He was speaking to Alice (Foster) Gerrard for an article in Sing Out! July- August 1969]

She married J B Monroe near Horton, Kentucky, on August 2, 1892.

** Stanley Brothers Sing the Songs of Bill Monroe, 23 tracks

Recorded for King Records during the 1950s and 1960s, this collection pays homage to the music of Bill Monroe.

Track listing – Six Month’s Ain’t Long, Lover’s Quarrel, Stoney Creek, Mother’s Only Sleeping, How Beautiful Heaven Must Be, No Letter Today, Little Joe, Working On A Building, Jenny Lynn, I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning, This Wicked Path Of Sin, Weeping Willow, Pretty Little Miss In The Garden, Midnight Ramble, I Saw The Light, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Little Maggie, What About You, Back Up And Push, Pass Me Not, Over In The Gloryland, Somebody Touched Me and Hills Of Roan County.

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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.