I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #48

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.

  • November 17, 1898 Maude Bell Monroe, Bill’s older sister, born.  *
  • November 17, 1999 Wilene ‘Sally Ann’ Forrester died in a Nashville, Tennessee, nursing home. She was 76 and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for a number of years.  **

* Maude was the fourth of eight children born to James Buchanan “Buck” Monroe and Melissa A Vandiver Monroe. She never married.

** Accordion player Wilene Forrester was a Blue Grass Boy from the Fall of 1943 through to March 1946. She was already a proficient and experienced musician, also a guitar player and radio personality, by the time Monroe hired her. Forrester and Monroe had worked together in tent shows, so the latter was very familiar with her musical background. It was he who gave her the name “Sally Ann.”

She played accordion and sang tenor during the only recording session – in February 1945 – in which she participated.

After leaving the band, Forrester performed for several years with a band including her husband, Howdy, and brother-in-law Joe Forrester, as well as with Rambling Tommy Scott. She retired from performing in the early 1950s.

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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.