I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #354

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 19, 1915 Clyde Leonard Moody was born in Cherokee, North Carolina. *
  • September 19, 1928 Carlton L Haney was born in Reidsville, Rockingham County, North Carolina.  **
  • September 19, 1975 Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys played at the First Annual Friendship Bluegrass Festival at Friendship, Indiana. The festival took place over three days.
  • September 19, 1990 Video recordings – Bill Monroe recorded Uncle Pen, Mule Skinner Blues, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Tombstone Junction, Walk Softly on this House (sic) of Mine, Bluegrass Breakdown, The Wayfaring Stranger and Old Pal of Mine. Wayne Lewis and Tom Ewing [guitar], Blake Williams [banjo], Jimmy Campbell and John Hartford [fiddle] and Tater Tate [bass] were thought to have been accompanying Bill Monroe. ***

* Moody joined Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys a month before the band’s first Bluebird recording session in the fall of 1940. Although primarily the guitarist/lead singer, Moody, known as “The Hillbilly Waltz King” or the “Carolina Woodchopper,” played mandolin on the first recording of Mule Skinner Blues.

Other songs recorded during that October 7 session included No Letter In The Mail, Six White Horses and I Wonder If You Feel The Way I Do, on each of which Moody sang lead, and Cryin’ Holy Unto The Lord.

** Carlton L Haney, best known as the promoter of the early bluegrass festivals, was Bill Monroe’s booking agent for a brief period during 1956. Also, he deputised for the bass player as a fill-in job during a show with the Blue Grass Boys during January 1954.

As a Sunday afternoon feature at his festivals, Haney instigated the ‘Story of Bluegrass’, staged reunions with former Blue Grass Boys joining Bill Monroe on stage to reprise the music of earlier times.

*** The recordings by Original Cinema, took place at Bill Monroe’s 79th birthday party at Longhollow Jamboree, Goodletsville, Tennessee.

Only the recording of Tombstone Junction was included in the video Bill Monroe: Father of Bluegrass Music (OC-1001). None were released in audio only format.

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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.