I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #365

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 30, 1944 Bob Jones was born. *

* Bob Jones played guitar for Bill Monroe from February to May 1976. A ‘lefty’, he featured in one recording session, that for the CBC radio broadcast Country Roads.

Jones’ baptism in bluegrass music began with the Rank Strangers, then he moved rapidly through spots with the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover and then with Frank Wakefield in the Greenbriar Boys before forming the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys, working firstly in the south east and then on the west coast.

After his brief spell working for Monroe, Jones returned to California and reformed the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys.

He has fronted the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys with a variety of personnel since then, performing mainly overseas since the end of the 1980s. Currently, Jones lives in New Zealand.

Songwriter and former guitarist with the Seldom Scene, Phil Rosenthal shares a few final thoughts about Bill Monroe …..

“Bill Monroe had a huge impact on music, both traditional and more contemporary. His creation of the Bluegrass (sic) Boys started a whole new musical genre, and his songs have influenced and been recorded by musicians in many different styles.

I always enjoyed watching the chemistry between Bill and John Duffey. Other musicians treated Monroe with great respect, sometimes bordering on awe, but John immediately would start kidding Monroe whenever he saw him – something that put a twinkle in Monroe’s eyes and a smile on his face. I remember one festival where, at John’s suggestion, the Seldom Scene came on stage while Monroe’s band was performing a song, and we pushed Monroe’s band members away from the microphones while we took over performance of the song (never losing the beat). John pushed Monroe’s cowboy hat forward so it covered his eyes. The crowd loved it – and so did Monroe.”

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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.