I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #61

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 30, 1894 Speed V Monroe born, Ohio County, Kentucky.  *
  • November 30, 1953 Single released –  Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake / Memories Of Mother And Dad (Columbia 9 – 28878, 78rpm)
  • November 30, 1960 Recording session – Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys recorded Sold Down the River, Linda Lou, You Live in a World All Your Own and Little Joe. All four songs were Monroe solos, despite the fact that Linda Lou was written by then guitar player Carl Butler, and included on the LP Mr Blue Grass (Decca DL7-4080) released on May 29, 1961.  The musicians at the session in addition to Monroe and Butler were Curtis McPeake [banjo], Bessie Lee Mauldin [bass] and Dale Potter [fiddle].
  • November 30, 1961 Recording session – Bill Monroe recorded three songs, Cotton Fields, Danny Boy and Journey’s End. The first-named was arranged with a trio on the chorus, while the other two songs were Monroe solos. Each of the recordings was included on Blue Grass Ramble (Decca 7-4266), released on June 11, 1962. Benny Williams [guitar], Tony Ellis [banjo and baritone vocal], Bessie Lee Mauldin [bass], and fiddle players Buddy Spicher and Bobby Joe Lester, who sang lead on the chorus to Cotton Fields, made up the musicians at the session.
  • November 30, 1976 LP released –  Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe (County Records 761) **

* Speed Monroe was the second son of James Buchanan ‘Buck’ Monroe and Melissa A Vandiver Monroe. Rosetta Kiper was his daughter.

** Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe – The 12 tracks for this album were recorded on March 29 or 30, 1976. In addition to Monroe there were band members Joe Stuart [guitar], Randy Davis [bass] and banjo players Vic Jordan – featured on eight cuts – and Bob Black – on four cuts.

Kenny Baker is widely regarded as the definitive interpreter of Monroe’s instrumental music, and this recording captures him at the height of his artistry.

Track listing – Road To Columbus, Brown Country Breakdown, Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Jerusalem Ridge, Monroe’s Hornpipe, Cheyenne, Big Sandy River, Stoney Lonesome, Mississippi Waltz, Wheel Hoss, Fiddler’s Pastime and Ashland Breakdown.

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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.