I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #350

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.

  • September 15, 1875 The town of Rosine was incorporated.  *
  • September 15, 2009 CD released – Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys – Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, 1950-1958 (JSP 77119) **

* Rosine, located in Ohio County on US Route 62 (in part named the Blue Moon of Kentucky Highway), is now unincorporated

** Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, 1950-1958, 4 CD set – 97 tracks

By 1950, when this collection opens, Bill Monroe was a seasoned performer. His greatest claim to fame was as the creator of Bluegrass a fusion of many musical strands into something uniquely American. An earlier set of Bill Monroe material JSP 7712 dealt with his recordings up to late 1949. This second volume covers the era when he met the threat of rock ‘n’ roll better than most it must be said. Indeed, one of Bill’s compositions, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, was an early part of Elvis Presley’s repertoire. The mature star is featured here with all of his virtuosity and vigour on display. His band members include masters like Rudy Lyle and Jimmy Martin and stars of the calibre of Carter Stanley who had briefly separated from brother Ralph and Don Stover. Included here are the Jimmie Rodgers sides that Monroe recorded as a tribute to an early inspiration. Controversial at the time, they continue to divide opinion some regarding them as an aberration, others seeing them as a progressive pointer to the future of Bluegrass. Cutting records was a minor part of the Monroe schedule. He was almost permanently on tour. Elvis Presley’s version of Blue Moon Of Kentucky rode high on the charts. Songwriting royalties were the happy result. And he still had a regular Opry spot. With the 1960s came new interest in folk roots and an upward surge in Bill’s career. By then he’d performed for four American presidents. It’s no surprise that he was a national treasure. Select any of the tracks here and be transported into a world of matchless artistry, hard won sentiment and a sense of what it was and hopefully, still is to be American.

(E1 Entertainment #56)

Track listing – Blue Grass Ramble, New Mule Skinner Blues, My Little Georgia Rose, Memories Of You, I’m On My Way To The Old Home, Alabama Waltz, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome, I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday, Morning, Boat Of Love, The Old Fiddler, Uncle Pen, When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall, Lord Protect My Soul, River Of Death, Letter From My Darling, On The Old Kentucky Shore, Raw Hide, Poison Love, Kentucky Waltz, Prisoner’s Song, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Angels Rock Me To Sleep, Brakeman’s Blues and Travelin’ Blues

When The Cactus Is In Bloom, Sailor’s Plea, Highway Of Sorrow, Rotation Blues, Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues, Sugar Coated Love, You’re Drifting Away, Cabin Of Love, Get Down On Your Knees And Pray, Christmas Time’s A-Coming, The First Whipoorwill, In The Pines, Footprints In The Snow, Walking In Jerusalem, Memories Of Mother And Dad, The Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake, Country Waltz, A Mighty Pretty Waltz, Pike County Breakdown, Wishing Waltz, I Hope You Have Learned, Get Up John, Sitting Alone In The Midnight and Changing Partners

Y’all Come, On And On, I Believed In You Darling, New John Henry Blues, White House Blues, Happy On My Way, I’m Working On A Building, A Voice From On High, He Will Set Your Fields On Fire, Close By, My Little Georgia Rose, Put My Little Shoes Away, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Wheel Hoss, Cheyenne, You’ll Find Her Name Written There, Roanoke, Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus, Let The Light Shine Down On Me, A Fallen Star, Four Walls, A Good Woman’s Love, Cry Cry Darlin’ and I’m Sittin’ On The Top Of The World

Out In The Cold World, Roane County Prison, Goodbye Old Pal, In Despair, Molly And Tenbrooks, Come Back To Me In My Dreams, Sally Jo, Brand New Shoes, A Lonesome Road To Travel, I Saw The Light,  Lord Build Me A Cabin In Glory, Lord Lead Me On, Precious Memories, I’ll Meet You In The Morning, Life’s Railway To Heaven, I’ve Found A Hiding Place, Jesus Hold My Hand, I Am A Pilgrim, Wayfaring Stranger, A Beautiful Life, House of Gold, Scotland, Gotta Travel On, Panhandle Country and No One But My Darlin’.

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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.