I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #317

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 13, 1976 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys hosted the First Annual Eagle Valley, Kentucky Festival, Sanders, Kentucky.
  • August 13, 1984 Bill ‘Cousin Wilbur’ Wesbrooks died in Tucker, Georgia. He had been ill for several months. Previously he had suffered a severe heart attack in November 1981.  *
  • August 13, 1986 A copy of Senate Resolution 463, 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.
  • August 13, 1987 Bill Monroe was presented with a Resolution of Appreciation from Houston, Texas, area bluegrass associations and KPFT-FM prior to his personal appearance at Rockefeller’s in town.
  • August 13, 1991 CD released – Bill Monroe – Mule Skinner Blues (RCA 2494-2-R) **

* After leaving the Blue Grass Boys in 1944, Wesbrooks continued on the Opry as a solo performer. In 1947 he married Blondie Leatherman and they began performing as the Cousin Wilbur and Blondie Brooks Show.

** Mule Skinner Blues, 16 tracks

Track listing – Mule Skinner Blues, No Letter in the Mail, Cryin’ Holy Unto My Lord, Six White Horses, Dog House Blues, I Wonder If You Feel the Way I Do, Katy Hill, Tennessee Blues, Shake My Mother’s Hand for Me, Were You There When They Crucified My Lord, Blue Yodel #7, The Coupon Song, Orange Blossom Special, Honky Tonk Swing, In The Pines and Back Up and Push.

Mule Skinner Blues contains the first recordings that Bill Monroe made with the Blue Grass Boys in 1940 and 1941 for RCA. On these recordings of the earliest and loosest bluegrass band, Monroe is wearing his blues, old-time, and even swing influences on his sleeve.

Mark A. Humphrey

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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.