I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #327

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 23, 1963 Milton Estes died, age 49, in Oklahoma City.  *
  • August 23, 1967 Recording session – During an evening session at Columbia Recording Studio Bill Monroe recorded The Gold Rush, Sally Goodin and Virginia Darlin’. The Blue Grass Boys working at the session were Roland White [guitar], Vic Jordan [banjo], James Monroe [bass] and Byron Berline [fiddle]. The producer was Harry Silverstein. Bill Monroe was listed as leader. **
  • August 23, 1974 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys performed at the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Adams County Fairgrounds, Henderson, Colorado.
  • August 23, 1991 The Blue Grass Boys were a featured band at A Bluegrass Spectacular, The Ricky Skaggs Pickin’ Party. ***
  • August 23, 2001 The ceremonial ribbon cutting and unveiling of Bill Monroe’s restored old home place, took place at his boyhood home at Rosine, Kentucky.  ****
  • August 23, 2005 United States Postal Service Kentuckiana District Manager Ann C. Wright and The Honorable Ron Lewis, U.S. Representative for the Second Congressional District of Kentucky, officially renamed the Rosine, Kentucky Post Office the “Bill Monroe Post Office Building.”
  • August 23, 2011 CD released –  Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration – A Classic Bluegrass Tribute (Rounder 11661 -9123-2) *****
  • August 23, 2011 CDs released – Various artists – With Body And Soul (Rebel REB-7528-CD); Various artists – Let The Light Shine Down (Rebel REB-7529-CD) Two albums, each of 17 tracks, harvested from the Rebel and County vaults; one secular, the other consisting of Gospel songs. ******

* Tennessean Milton Estes was an early star of the Grand Ole Opry where he started in 1937 as an MC and singer with Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboys.

Later, as the leader his Musical Millers, he recorded sporadically between 1946 and 1950

Estes co-wrote the Jimmy Martin ‘hit 20/20 Vision.

** This was the first recording session for Roland White and Vic Jordan.

The Gold Rush and Virginia Darlin’ were paired on a single (Decca 32404), released on October 26, 1968.

*** This, the first of a series of concerts, took place at Capital Music Center, Grove City, Ohio. At the time Bill Monroe was recovering from surgery and Ricky Skaggs fronted the band in the absence of the Father of Bluegrass.

**** The ceremony was performed jointly by Kentucky Governor Paul Patton and Monroe’s son James. The home now appears on the National Registry Of Historic Places.

***** Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration – A Classic Bluegrass Tribute. A two-disc commemoration of the Father of Bluegrass during his centennial year – 28 tracks

Track listing – Tall Timber – The Bluegrass Album Band; Will You Be Loving Another Man – The Grascals; Dark As The Night, Blue As The Day – Michael Cleveland with Dan Tyminski and Vince Gill; Cheyenne – The Bluegrass Album Band; Close By – Dailey & Vincent; I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling – Joe Val & The New England Bluegrass Boys; Shenandoah Breakdown – Wyatt Rice; My Florida Sunshine – Claire Lynch; I’m Blue I’m Lonesome – Nashville Bluegrass Band; Toy Heart – Ricky Skaggs; Wheel Hoss – The Bluegrass Album Band; On The Old Kentucky Shore – The Bluegrass Album Band; Come Back To Me In My Dreams – Al Jones and Frank Necessary & The Spruce Mountain Boys and Wicked Path Of Sin – Blue Highway.

Old Brown County Barn – Michael Cleveland; You’d Better Get Right – The Vern Williams Band; Voice From On High – Joe Val & The New England Bluegrass Boys; Lonesome Moonlight Waltz – The Bluegrass Album Band; Dog House Blues – Nashville Bluegrass Band; Walls Of Time – The Johnson Mountain Boys; Big Mon – Tony Rice; Footprints In The Snow – IIIrd Tyme Out; Jerusalem Ridge – Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper; Mansions For Me – Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-press; In Despair – Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys featuring Charlie Sizemore; You’re Drifting Away – Nashville Bluegrass Band; True Life Blues – Hazel and Alice and Goodbye Old Pal – Joe Val & The New England Bluegrass Boys.

****** Various artists – With Body And Soul

Track listing –My Little Georgia Rose – The Seldom Scene; Rocky Road Blues – The Lonesome River Band; White House Blues – Del McCoury & The Dixie Pals; A Good Woman’s Love – Tony Rice; Big Mon – Bobby Hicks; Blue Yodel #3 – IIIrd Tyme Out; Kentucky Waltz – Don Rigsby & Midnight Call; Road to Columbus – Kenny Baker featuring Bill Monroe; With Body and Soul – Peter Rowan; Uncle Pen – Jim & Jesse (Previously unreleased on Rebel); Tallahassee – Kenny Baker & Bobby Hicks; The Girl in the Blue Velvet Band – The Boys from Indiana; Close By – Red Allen; Brown County Breakdown – Richard Greene; Mule Skinner Blues – Reno & Smiley; Blue Moon of Kentucky – Ralph Stanley and Footprints in the Snow – Mac Wiseman.

Various artists – Let The Light Shine Down

Track listing – A Beautiful Life – The Country Gentlemen; You’re Drifting Away – The Lost & Found; Wait a Little Longer, Please Jesus – Del McCoury & The Dixie Pals; Working on a Building – The Seldom Scene; When the Saints Go Marching In – The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover; I Am a Pilgrim – The Stanley Brothers (Previously unreleased on CD); Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Don Reno & Benny Martin (Previously unreleased); Boat of Love – The Lost & Found; The Old Cross Road – The Seldom Scene featuring Linda Ronstadt; He Will Set Your Fields on Fire – Don Reno & Benny Martin (Previously unreleased); I’ll Meet You in Church Sunday Morning – Larry Richardson (Previously unreleased); Let the Light Shine Down – Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice; Mansions for Me – Dave Evans; Wayfaring Stranger – Ralph Stanley; Little Community Church House – The Boys from Indiana; Mother’s Only Sleeping – The Stanley Brothers (Previously unreleased on CD) and Shine Hallelujah Shine – Reno & Smiley.

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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.