I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #287

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 14, 1947 Single released – Will You be Loving Another Man? / Blue Yodel No. 4 (Columbia 37565, 78rpm, 20198)
  • July 14, 1979 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys made a personal appearance at the Country Pickin’ Concert, Vernon Valley Great Gorge, Vernon Valley’s Family Fun Center, Vernon, New Jersey.
  • July 14, 1998 CD released – Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Band – The Early Years (Vanguard VCD 79518) *

* Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Band – The Early Years, 14 tracks

These are the songs that introduced bluegrass music to the world. The 14-song collection spans the band’s first three incarnations, and thus, is useful as a tool to measure Monroe’s incredible progress between 1945 and 1949 (although the songs are not sequenced chronologically). Four cuts come from 1945, with Tex Willis (guitar), “Stringbean” Akeman (banjo), and Sally Ann Forrester (accordion!) joining Monroe’s hot mandolin and Chubby Wise’s lonesome fiddle. Kentucky Waltz stands out from this session. The eight recordings from 1946 and 1947 introduce Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs to the fray and find the Boys in peak form—for this band or any other band. Blue Moon of Kentucky, Toy Heart, the gospel Wicked Path of Sin, Jimmie Rodgers’s Blue Yodel #4, and the instrumental Blue Grass Breakdown are definitive statements of the genre. The final two tracks feature Mac Wiseman on guitar and on one lead vocal. A worthy single-disc alternative to Columbia’s concurrent two-CD package.

Marc Greilsamer

Track listing – Blue Moon of Kentucky, Footprints in the Snow, Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong, Blue Grass Stomp [Instrumental], Toy Heart, Blue Grass Special [Instrumental], Kentucky Waltz, Rocky Road Blues, Travelin’ This Lonesome Road, When You Are Lonely, Wicked Path of Sin, Bluegrass Breakdown [Instrumental], Little Community Church and Blue Yodel No. 4.

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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.