I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #66

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.

  • December 5, 1954 Single released – Voice from on High / I’m Working on a Building (Decca 29348, 78rpm)  **
  • December 5, 1980 The Lincoln Center in association with Geoff Berne presented Bluegrass Festival at the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center Plaza, New York.  The founding father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, headed a bill that included the Lewis Family, Berline-Crary-Hickman, and Del McCoury and the Dixie Pals.
  • December 5, 1990 Melissa Monroe was laid to rest in Nashville.
  • December 5, 2009 The Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation announced the Bean Blossom Memorial Brick Wall Project located at the Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground in Bean Blossom, Indiana.  *

* Known as the Mecca of bluegrass music, the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground is one of southern Indiana’s finest and largest campgrounds. It is located on a 55-acre tract of land in the small town of Bean Blossom in beautiful and historic Brown County, Indiana.

Bill Monroe purchased the site that hosts the oldest, continuously running bluegrass festival in the world – the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival – just after Christmas in 1951.

Now in the ownership of banjo-playing Blue Grass Boy Dwight Dillman, the site is up for sale.

In May 2008 a group devoted enthusiasts and industry folks formed the Bean Blossom Brown County Jamboree Preservation Foundation Inc. to preserve the music park at Bean Blossom in perpetuity and continue the Brown County Jamboree’s heritage of musical shows and the bluegrass music festivals established at Bean Blossom by the Father of Bluegrass Music.

The Bean Blossom Memorial Brick Wall Project is one of the ways that the foundation is trying to raise the funds necessary to purchase the park and operate it as an enduring monument to Bill Monroe’s music.

**  Here is a video of a performance of I’m Working on a Building, recorded while on the Wilburn Brothers Show.

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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.