I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #31

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.

  • October 31, 1921 Melissa Ann Vandiver Monroe died of antero myelitis, a degenerative disease of the spine. Bill Monroe was only 10 years old when his mother died.
  • October 31, 1964 Live recording – Monroe with Blue Grass Boys Peter Rowan [guitar], Bill Keith [banjo], Tex Logan [fiddle] and Everett Allen Lilly [bass], performed at a concert at Jordan Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. Four numbers played during that concert were included on the album Live Recordings 1956-1969: Off the Record. Vol. 1 (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 40063 2093) *
  • October 31, 1974 Bill Monroe, along with his Blue Grass Boys, was the host at his own Arizona Bluegrass Festival, in Payson, Arizona, which took place through to November 3.

* Live Recordings (1956-1969)…Vol. 1 is a collection of 27 live tracks by Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. The album includes a recording of Blue Grass Breakdown, Katy Hill, Rawhide and Y’all Come, each of which was recorded at the concert at Jordan Hall.

“During the period in 1963 when Bill Keith worked the Blue Grass Boys, a number of extraordinary studio recordings were made, but the most striking examples of Keith’s innovative chromatic banjo style to have emerged from live performance experiences that were never commercially recorded. Thus the inclusion of both Blue Grass Breakdown (originally recorded October 2, 1947, with Scruggs on banjo) and Rawhide (originally recorded January 20, 1951 with Rudy Lyle on banjo) enables us to compare the intensity, originality and musical depth of Keith’s approach with that of his more traditional predecessors.”

From annotation  by producer and compiler Ralph Rinzler

At the same concert Bill Monroe and Arthel ‘Doc’ Watson performed some duets in the style of the Monroe Brothers. The following songs recorded that evening are included on the album: Soldier’s Joy, East Tennessee Blues, Midnight on the Stormy Deep and Have a Feast Here Tonight.

Both albums were released on September 14, 1993.

Share this:

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.