I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #319

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 15, 1974 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys appeared at the Lakeland’s World Championship Bluegrass Festival, Lakeland, Shelby Station, Memphis, Tennessee.
  • August 15, 1981 Floyd Ethridge died, age 73. *
  • August 15, 2004 ‘Lum’ York, passed away in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, age 85.  **

* Floyd Ethridge played fiddle with Bill Monroe while touring in 1943. Six years later he replaced Benny Martin, working as a Blue Grass Boy for a few months.

As a young man, Ethridge performed with Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith. In the 1930s he appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as a member of the Crook Brothers band, replacing Kirk McGee. He may have also played with Paul Warmack’s Gully Jumpers, another of the veteran Opry string bands.

He continued to play locally until just a few years before his death.

** ‘Lum’ York performed with Bill Monroe between 1949 and 1953.

He was best known for his work as a bass player/comedian with the great country music legend Hank Williams, playing at many venues, including the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana, as a member of Williams’ Drifting Cowboy Band. Lum went on to work with other country music singers, including Lefty Frizzell, George Morgan and Marty Robbins.

From the 1960s onwards he made several appearances on the Old South Jamboree in Walker, Louisiana, and at numerous festivals throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

As well as working with Hank Williams, Lum has made on-stage appearances with Hank Jr., Jett Williams and Hank III.

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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.