I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #58

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 27, 1910 Joel Price born in the tiny community of Gumlog, Georgia. Price was the bass player for the Blue Grass Boys from February 1947 for about a year and then again from 1949 to 1951. *
  • November 27, 1948 The recording of Little Community Church (Columbia 20488) peaked at number 11 in the Billboard country singles music chart.

* Price took Cedric Rainwater’s place in the Blue Grass Boys in February 1947 and worked through to sometime in 1948. He re-joined for a spell from the fall of 1949 through to the middle of 1951, although he did make some Opry appearances with Monroe later.

He played bass at six out of the first seven recording sessions that Monroe did for Decca Records. The songs concerned include New Mule Skinner Blues, Memories of You, I’m On My Way To The Old Home, the two quartets on which he sang baritone; I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning and Boat Of Love; the two quartets on which he sang bass; Lord Protect My Soul and River Of Death; Letter From My Darling, Raw Hide, two blues numbers from the pen of Jimmie Rodgers, Brakeman’s Blues and Travelin’ Blues.

Price was thought to have co-written Boat Of Love. Later, he penned the lovely Gospel song Insured Beyond The Grave that was recorded by the Louvin Brothers.

He was a member of the Shenandoah Valley Trio, a vocal trio formed of members of the Blue Grass Boy. He was featured as the lead vocalist in the most famous of the trios, along with guitarist and baritone Jimmy Martin, and the fiddle and tenor vocal of Merle ‘Red’ Taylor. This line-up recorded for Columbia in the early 1950s, augmenting the basic trio sound with a fine steel guitarist, thought to be Jimmie Selph (from Red Foley’s band).

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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.