I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #313

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 9, 1927 Larry Richardson was born in the Galax area of Virginia.  *
  • August 9, 1934 Robert L ‘Bob’ Metzel [guitar] was born. **
  • August 9, 1960 Roger Drake filled in, on fiddle, with the Blue Grass Boys. ***
  • August 9, 1986 The United States Senate resolved to recognise and honour Bill Monroe for his many contributions to American culture and music.  ****
  • August 9, 1991 Bill Monroe underwent surgery at Baptist Hospital, Nashville, for a double coronary bypass operation.

* Richardson played banjo with the Blue Grass Boys around 1950-1951. He was not involved in any recording sessions during this time.

** ‘Bob’ Metzel was given the job of guitarist/lead vocalist for the Blue Grass Boys in the spring of 1956. He was shortly replaced by Bill Price. He didn’t do any recordings with Bill Monroe.

*** Roger Drake played during a show in Brunswick, Maryland.  The Blue Grass Boys for this date were Porter Church [guitar], Rudy Lyle [banjo], Roger Drake [fiddle] and Tony Ellis [bass].

**** Senate Resolution 463 – recognised William Smith “Bill” Monroe on his seventy-fifth birthday …

The U S Senate passed a resolution recognising and honouring “his [Bill Monroe’s] many contributions to American culture and music and his many ways of helping American people enjoy themselves …..”

It also stated that, “As a musician, showman, composer and teacher, Mr. Monroe has been a cultural figure and force of signal importance in our time”.

A copy of the resolution, co-sponsored by Senators Robert Byrd and Jim Sasser, was presented to Bill Monroe prior to Monroe’s performance at the Kentucky Center in Washington DC.

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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.