I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #299

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 26, 1952 Recording session – At a morning session at the Castle Studio Bill Monroe recorded A Mighty Pretty Waltz and the instrumental Pike County Breakdown. The musicians playing on both these numbers were Jimmy Martin [guitar], Sonny Osborne [banjo], Ernie Newton [bass] and Charlie Cline [fiddle]. Owen Bradley played piano on A Mighty Pretty Waltz. Paul Cohen was the producer. *
  • July 26, 1963 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys made their debut at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival, Newport, Rhode Island. It was an overwhelming triumph for Bill Monroe who was the headline act on the bill. Recordings from this appearance were released on a Bear Family CD entitled Two Days At Newport.  **
  • July 26, 1969 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys played the two-day First Georgia Bluegrass Festival, Shoal Creek Country Music Park, on the shores of Parkertown Creek, Lavonia, Georgia.

* A Mighty Pretty Waltz and Pike County Breakdown were paired on a single (Decca 28356) that was released on August 8, 1952.

** The band for this historic occasion consisted of Bill Monroe [mandolin], Del McCoury [guitar], Billy Baker [fiddle] and Bill Keith [banjo], and Bessie Lee Maudlin and Ralph Rinzler [bass].

The performance included Watermelon Hanging on the Vine, Mule Skinner Blues, Uncle Pen, Devil’s Dream [Instrumental], Molly and Tenbrooks, I Am a Pilgrim and Raw Hide [Instrumental].

Rinzler played bass on Raw Hide.

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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.