I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #309

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.

  • August 5, 1934 Jim Brock Sr. was born in Fayette County, Alabama.  *
  • August 5, 1976 Bill and James Monroe co-hosted their First Annual Missouri Bluegrass Festival, which took place over four days at Mine La Motte, Missouri.

* Jim Brock helped Bill Monroe on some dates during 1978 and 1979, having first filled in for Kenny Baker in the summer of 1977 when Baker damaged his hand with a hunting knife.

He did not record with Monroe during either of those periods, but played on four tracks on James Monroe’s Attieram LP, James Monroe Sings Songs of “Memory Lane” of his Uncle Charlie Monroe (API-L-1532) on which Bill Monroe played mandolin.

Brock was born in an area with a rich fiddling tradition. From his father and uncles he learned regional old-time fiddle tunes including those of master fiddler Charlie Stripling. At age 17 he became a professional fiddler, playing live radio performances in Birmingham.

He performed for ten years with Carl Sauceman and the Green Valley Boys, then with Jim and Jesse on the Grand Old Opry. It was in the role of fiddler for the duo that he is featured on the Bean Blossom album (MCA

He has toured with Bill Monroe and Charlie Louvin, and has fiddled on scores of bluegrass and country albums, including a solo fiddle album, Sawdust from the Bow of Jim Brock.
After 20 years on the road, he tired of traveling and settled down with his family. Now a resident of Aliceville, he enjoys playing at weekends and mentoring 12-year-old rising fiddle-playing star Ruby Jane Smith.

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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.